BBC To Begin Streaming BBC One Live
"Living in the UK I welcome the addition of streaming channels allowing me to watch the BBC wherever I happen to be," said one online poster at Geek.com. "I’m sure the Internet Service Providers are not going to enjoy it however, and already have been angered by the BBC iPlayer increasing the load on their networks. With BBC One becoming a live stream I expect the remaining BBC channels to follow shortly afterwards. It will also mean rival channels will have to follow suit with the viewer, in the UK at least, being the winner."
BBC’s Online Division Faces Budgetary Challenge
The news comes at a good time for BBC.co.uk, which overspent its budget—paid for by mandatory viewer license fees that the BBC collects—by almost 48 percent in 2007/08. An audit says the overspending happened "because management is 'not sufficiently strong' and 'financial oversight has not been sufficiently effective’" to reel in spending.
The audit, conducted by the BBC Trust, suggests that leadership be shaken up by December and meanwhile has ordered online investment be frozen until that takes place. The budget for the year was £74.2 million; excluding iPlayer and streaming media, the BBC Trust said total spending was £110million, which means the service overspent by £42 million, "much higher than the upper level of spend permitted in its Service Licence of £82 million" and exceeding even the built-in 10 percent buffer.
"The true level of spending on the service has only become known as a result of this review," said the BBC Trust in its audit statement. "This lack of financial accountability is not acceptable."
With the BBC Trust freezing a planned £39 million "top-up" to BBC.co.uk's 2008/09 budget, this leaves a few potential streaming service enhancements in jeopardy as well.
"We will not approve the proposed new investment in BBC.co.uk until we are satisfied with management's proposals for improved management and control of the service and have subjected them to greater scrutiny," the BBC Trust stated.
Still, viewers are happy with iPlayer, as well as the current Euro 2008 soccer matches being streamed.
"This is the best thing to come out of the BBC in a long time," said Stefan Ricther, a Flash developer who lives in the UK and writes for Streaming Media
magazine, adding that, from a viewer’s perspective, iPlayer was money well spent.
"I look at it from a license payer’s perspective," said Richter. "The BBC is pushing out good quality programming, and are making it accessible over the net, wherever I am. It is setting a standard for on-demand streaming on the web. It doesn't get in the way. Click, play, done. So I'm not surprised that they are adding live streaming."