BBC and Azureus announce distribution agreement.

Now this is cool news. The folks that make the BitTorrent client called Azureus have inked a deal with the BBC to distribute various shows via their new Zudeo file sharing service. That’s right, soon you’ll be able to legally download several different BBC shows:

Azureus, the BitTorrent client software developer, has announced its first content distribution partnership. BBC television shows and original productions will be distributed to users of Azureus’ new Zudeo file-sharing service in the United States.

This is the first ever content distribution partnership for the BBC. When Azureus debuted Zudeo earlier this month, the company promised that several mainstream content distribution partnerships would be announced over the coming weeks. Well, those weeks have come, and this is the first partnership that Azureus has announced. The company says that more partnerships will be announced shortly.

Azureus mentions these BBC titles in its press release: Red Dwarf, Strange, Invasion Earth, Little Britain, Doctor Who, Fawlty Towers (starring John Cleese of Monty Python), Coupling, Keeping Up Appearances, League of Gentlemen and Ideal. No word on the full line-up just yet.

Also no word on if this will cost you anything. At the moment checking out the Zudeo site there doesn’t appear to be a cost associated with any of the downloads they have available already, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a cost associated with the BBC programs. Still if the cost is low enough, or even free, then this could be a great thing for fans of British television such as myself.

8 thoughts on “BBC and Azureus announce distribution agreement.

  1. It’ll be great as long as they don’t do the “UK IP addresses only” crap that the BBC pulls for some of their flash games.

  2. I’m afraid they would surely do everything they could to keep it UK only.  The only way they would let the rest of us watch is by charging an equivalent license fee.

  3. You guys obviously didn’t read the quoted section closely enough:

    . BBC television shows and original productions will be distributed to users of Azureus’ new Zudeo file-sharing service in the United States.

    Additionally in the official press release the BBC has the following to say:

    Under the terms of the agreement, BBC Worldwide will license international hit television series to U.S. users of the service, including Red Dwarf, Strange and Invasion Earth, debuting via broadband for the first time in the U.S. Other titles include International Emmy® award-winning, Little Britain, Doctor Who, Fawlty Towers (starring John Cleese of Monty Python), Coupling, Keeping Up Appearances, League of Gentlemen and Ideal among others. Additional content partnerships are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

    “BBC Worldwide understands our commitment to providing consumers with a rich entertainment experience and our desire to offer quality content to our diverse global audience,” said Gilles BianRosa, CEO, Azureus. “We are thrilled to offer programming that encompasses such a robust fan base, as well as the opportunity to expose a new generation to cult favorites from BBC Worldwide catalogue via our new entertainment platform.”

    “We are very excited to partner with Azureus and make our content available through this revolutionary distribution model,” said Beth Clearfield, Vice President, Program Management and Digital Media, BBC Worldwide. “We want to ensure that our most popular content – as well as programs that have rarely been seen in the territory – are part of the latest dynamic entertainment environment and can reach the largest audience possible.”

    The only real question is: Will it cost anything?

  4. Didn’t miss it either. The BBC has formally released more than a few things (mostly web content) to a world wide audience before suddenly changing their mind and making it UK only and citing the BBC license fee as one of the reasons. Even with a press release, I still won’t believe it until I have Series 3 of the New Doctor who on my harddrive legally.

  5. I’m pretty sure this will cost, the BBC news article. The worst thing is this looks like a US only thing and as a TV license payer, British people really ought to have this service for free.

  6. Here in the UK you have to pay £131.50 per year for a TV licence (or face a fine if you own a TV even if you don’t watch BBC), and the money goes to the BBC, none of the other channels.

    The BBC has priveleges as it used to be a state company, like Royal Mail, BA, British gas, etc. The BBC has to justify to the government every year that it is somehow improving to keep the licence privelege. I would expect non-UK residents to have to pay as they don’t pay tv licence, they would struggle to justify charging UK residents (things like BBC radio free) so this is a way to make money beyond licence fees. The BBC is not allowed to show commercial adverts, much like public radio, as part of the deal for being allowed to charge licence fees.

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