While the BBC plans a new streaming service for American audiences, don’t expect “Doctor Who” to be in the mix. David Venni/BBC
Grab your tea and crumpets, and get ready to watch your favorite British TV programs. Britain’s BBC plans to launch an Internet-based streaming service in the US next year.
The service will give BBC fans in the US a way to watch programs they “wouldn’t otherwise get,” BBC Director General Tony Hall said Thursday at an industry convention, according to Reuters.
American audiences will have access to an extremely extensive back catalog of BBC programs, though no official list of shows have been revealed.
The new streaming service will not include the popular BBC series of “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock” as of yet, which already have distribution deals with BBC America and PBS.
The BBC did not say what the service will be called or give a specific launch date.
Some of us avid Anglophiles have already watched some of our favorite classic BBC programs, especially sci-fi and fantasy, like “Doctor Who,” “Red Dwarf,” “Misfits,” “Primeval,” “Life on Mars,” “Strange,” “Ashes to Ashes,” “Invasion Earth,” “Hyperdrive,” “The Fades,” “UFO” and “Outcasts,” not to mention many British comedies and crime dramas on Hulu.
We’ve also done our fair share of Netflix binge-watching geeky British shows like “Classic Doctor Who,” “Black Mirror,” “Torchwood,” “The Bletchley Circle: Cracking the Killer’s Code,” and “Sherlock,” to name a few.
It will be interesting to see which dramas, comedies, thrillers, fantasy and sci-fi series the BBC will be offering US audiences in its new service.
Perhaps we’ll finally get access to older sci-fi series like creepy paranormal drama “The Omega Factor” or the new zombie drama “In the Flesh.”
The streaming service is part of the BBC’s search for new revenue sources as the British government conducts a review of the legendary network’s current funding and business practices. The public broadcaster is largely funded through an annual television license fee charged to British households and companies. Some British lawmakers have suggested reducing funding or even selling off parts of the BBC.
The new subscription service will not replace the BBC iPlayer used widely in the UK.