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Thursday, 21 December 2006 21:04

BBC episodes available via file-sharing, but restricted to the US


From Dr Who to Faulty Towers, the best of British television is set to be available online - but only in the US.


The United Kingdom's public broadcaster, the BBC, has announced hundreds of episodes of popular British television programs will available through Zudeo - a YouTube-esque service for high definition content. Zudeo uses BitTorrent peer-to-peer technology to distribute content and is backed by the team behind the highly popular Azureus BitTorrent client. The BBC content will only be available to Zudeo's US users, with files only watchable using Zudeo's media player.

While Zudeo offers free downloads, the BBC is classified as a "premium partner" and pricing for downloading BBC content from Zudeo is yet to be confirmed. Other premium partners are expected to be announced next year, along with a peer-to-peer video streaming service.

The deal comes as the BBC prepares to offer an on-demand video service in the UK called the BBC iPlayer. It will consist of two elements; a free seven-day "catch up" allowing viewers to download programs they missed, and a commercial offering by BBC Worldwide offering a variety of programming.

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