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Global BBC iPlayer to launch in Europe

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BBC Worldwide has announced that the global version of BBC iPlayer will launch in Western Europe later this year, with monthly subscriptions expected to cost around $10 (£6).

In her first major speech since joining Worldwide as president of networks and global iPlayer, Jana Bennett will reveal that BBC fans living in Western Europe will be able to access a mix of current and archive content on Apple's iPad.

Speaking at the Banff World Television Festival in Canada, Bennett will stress that the multi-territory rollout of global iPlayer later this year will be "very much a pilot", and the full launch will be run "in a careful and measured way". No date has been set so far for a US launch.

Bennett will add: "We want the global BBC iPlayer to imaginatively engage an on-demand audience with the best classic and contemporary British shows."

She will explain that the global iPlayer will be "a different proposition" to the UK version, and claim that it will not cannibalise viewers from the BBC's international channels.

"The freedom from catch-up means that we've got a lot more flexibility in terms of what we put on there and how we present it," Bennett will say.

"In overseas markets where the whole gamut of the BBC's linear broadcast isn't available then applying the on-demand model we have in the UK doesn't make sense."

According to Bennett, global BBC iPlayer will offer "editorially-curated collections" across genres such as music, comedy, factual, natural history and children's programmes.

She will add: "Whilst it won't happen overnight, our ambition is to present a timeless mix of classic and contemporary UK creativity, showcasing the best of British content from the 1950s to the present day. Vintage British creativity but fresh and for the future."

Also in the speech, Bennett will outline her vision for Worldwide's network of international channels, including new programming and channel launches.

Worldwide's travel guide publisher Lonely Planet is to produce a raft of branded content for the BBC Knowledge channels, which are shown in 14 countries around the world.

Bennett will also discuss the forthcoming launch of a full BBC Earth natural history channel and plans to bring a localised feed of BBC HD to Latin America within the year, following the channel's expansion into Scandinavia, Poland and Turkey.

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