BBC TV Plus – The Apprentice Comes To Broadband

BBC TV Plus - The Apprentice Comes To Broadband‘The Apprentice’ TV show has been a smash hit in the UK, much the same as it was in the US. The BBC now plan to use it as the ‘first extensive broadband experience,’ as part of the BBC TV Plus project.

While the series is being shown on TV , the episodes from that series will be viewable on demand via broadband, as will ‘must see clips’, ie promo clips from forthcoming episodes. Sorry non-UK readers, all of this is only viewable in the UK.

This broadband-video advance will be supplemented by the now-to-be-expected blog, this time by a fiery (other would say mouthy) contestant from the last series.

BBC Two Web site – Now Broadband-enabled
All of this is accessible via the heavily reworked BBC Two Web site. The Beeb have taken a big step forward with the new site, really embracing the concept of what a broadcasters Web site can be in a broadband age.

Arriving at the page brings you a quick-to-start video of the latest show they want to promo, leaving the rest of the page is uncluttered. When video previews are clicked on, a new window is launched showing the preview with a very neat feature – moving the mouse pointer off the window, dulls supporting text, so the focus is on the video – as it should be.

Why’s it taken the BBC so long?
BBC TV Plus - The Apprentice Comes To BroadbandInitially looking at these advances it’s easy to get excited, but when looked in context of how long it’s taken, a frustrations come to the surface.

Ashley Highfield, BBC New Media & Technology uber-miester, has been banging-on about the potential of broadband for years, but has taken ages to get from talk to action, despite the hundreds of millions of pounds that have been spent between him joining and now.

There have been blips of excitement. Back in April 2003 we gave a strong thumbs up to the first strong use of broadband we’d seen by the BBC, under The site has changed considerably since then – thank goodness, it was nearly three years ago – so our comments from then won’t bear direct relevance. What was really impressive then was the synchronisation of text and graphics with the video’s timeline, something that’s not supported by this project.

BBC TV Plus - The Apprentice Comes To Broadband(Funnily enough, after reading that article the person responsible for the project contacted us and it turned out to be someone whose previous work outside the BBC we’d been very impressed with.)

The talent behind these type of advances don’t often get name checks, so it’s great to be bale to correct this

The development of BBC TWO’s new-look site has been led by Kate Bradshaw (Executive Editor) and Dominic Vallely (Channel Executive Broadband), project managed by Zillah Myers, with design by Julie Dodd, Tim Bleasdale and Audrey Rapier.

The website and player have been produced by New Media Production & Development, led by Victoria Felton (Executive Producer, Editorial).

New look BBC Two site
The Apprentice