Highfield announces BBC Archive online trial

Ashley Highfield

BBC future media director Ashley Highfield has announced that 1,000 hours of programmes from the BBC's vast programming archive will be made available for a six-month trial involving 20,000 broadband homes to determine consumer demand for a free service unlocking the entire BBC TV and radio vault, and its 1m hours of programming. "Our goal is to turn the BBC into an open cultural and creative resource for the nation," said Highfield.

The trial, starting early in the New Year, will feed into proposals for the BBC Archive, an extension of the BBC's proposed seven-day catch-up service, iPlayer, currently the subject of a public value test overseen by the BBC's new regulatory body, the BBC Trust.

The archive proposal will itself require approval, with a service plan expected to be put before trustees in the second half of 2007, depending on the outcome of the BBC licence fee settlement.

The BBC Archive trial follows the completion of an 18-month pilot of the BBC's Creative Archive, which allowed web users to share and re-edit rights cleared content for their own non-commercial purposes within the terms of the Creative Archive Licence Scheme launched with organisations including ITN, the British Film Institute, Channel 4 and the Open University.

Lovelace Consulting  |  18.12.2006

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