Speaking at the FT Digital Media & Broadcasting conference in London today, Thompson also confirmed that global iPlayer will launch on iPads "definitely this year".
He said that overseas consumers will be able to subscribe to the app for "a small number of dollars per month, definitely fewer than 10", reports The Guardian.
Alongside catch-up TV services, the international iPlayer app - being developed by BBC Wordwide - will also offer the opportunity to browse and watch archive BBC programming.
Thompson added: "We're exploring internationally what the right pricing and models are. The most important thing is the consumer pricing is right."
The director general said that the iPlayer app will enable the BBC to "sell directly to consumers" without having to reformat or rebrand its programmes, as usually happens when content is syndicated to international broadcasters.
BBC Worldwide, the corporation's commercial arm, has recently seen an upsurge in its digital programme sales around the world, including the amount of video on-demand hours it distributes increasing 38%, with the US a major market.
Asked what impact the launch of international iPlayer would have on Worldwide's digital revenues, Thompson said that the corporation has learnt from the Hollywood studios to use "a series of windows" to maximise the value of its content "across that lifecycle".
This strategy typically involves making digital rights available at the same time as DVD, followed by subscription or pay-TV services and finally free-to-air TV.