The BBC is expanding its distribution with Orange to take its international news service, BBC World, to Orange mobile phones in eight countries.
The live stream of BBC World has been available on Orange mobiles in France for the past two years, so given this background it make sense for Orange to want to expand the coverage. They’re taking it to quite an assortment of countries – Belgium, Poland, the Netherlands, Romania, Portugal, Jordan, Egypt and the Dominican Republic.
The live streams will be distributed over either 3G or EDGE to what they’re calling “mobile broadband customers,” (first time we’ve heard Orange use the term before).
We spoke to Gerry Ritchie, BBC World’s Regional Director and Business Development, Europe, Middle East, South Asia, Americas (A title that would at one time have been an anathema – BizDev … at the BBC!) about the deal.
Gerry said that in the time that they’ve been doing video to mobiles, they’ve come to realise that ‘made for’ packages (edited summaries) don’t really work. When people hear about an event, they “turn to BBC World for immediate coverage, so even a 10 minute editing delay won’t work. People place trust in the BBC brand, as it is known for the quality of its reporting, not just getting the news there first, but making sure it’s accurate.”
BBC World is held within the commercial arm of the BBC, so Orange are paying the BBC for the privilege of showing it to their subscribers. Gerry wouldn’t give specific details of deal, but we did learn that they don’t do deals on the number of streams that are watched.
The deal isn’t on an exclusive basis, as the BBC want to get their content distributed as widely as they can, but clearly Orange will have a major advantage in being the first mover.
BBC World has already been highly successful in getting its content distributed around the world, including 46 cruise liners, 36 airlines and 26 mobile phone platforms.