Thursday, February 21, 2008

Open Letter to the BBC: Bring Programming to US iTunes

On Tuesday, the BBC announced that it would start providing their TV content on iTunes: In the UK. This is a landmark decision, because quite frankly the BBC has some great shows, some of which don't translate well to the general US market. Unfortunately, for those few of us that follow the cult classics (Jonathan Creek, Rosemary and Thyme, etc.), we are left out in the cold. Sure, we can wait for years until the episodes come to DVD, but wouldn't it be smarter to provide downloads that are compatible with various formats (or at least iTunes for me)?

So, in my quest to get quality television (and no, I don't think American Idol is quality television), I have written an open letter to both the BBC and BBC America. The letter is limited by characters (due to the limitations for their email contact us form):

Recently, BBC Worldwide made (in my opinion) a landmark decision to provide BBC TV shows on iTunes in the UK for download. This is monumental in that quality BBC programming can be delivered directly to those that are more likely to purchase, and the delivery and distribution model is quite simple.

Has the BBC, or BBC America, considered doing the same here in the US? Now that the Apple TV has been designed more appropriately, it would most likely be in the BBC's best interest to consider providing content on iTunes. Popular cult classics like Rosemary and Thyme, or Jonathan Creek can reach a more targeted audience, shipping time will be almost immediate, and your loyal fans (guilty as charged!) will be forever in your debt.

I hope that the BBC will make the decision to provide their material on iTunes, as BBC Worldwide made in the UK. It would be a benefit to those of us who wish to be truly entertained with real, quality television that has not been "americanized".

I hope that the BBC understands that iTunes and similar distribution methods are ideal for targeting those that love the cult classics, lesser known shows, and those shows that have a limited target audience.

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