BBC deal with Youtube

This was on the cards for some time… the BBC has (finally!) announced a deal to put ‘short clips of BBC content’ on three Youtube channels – one for news, which will carry advertising and hence won’t be available to UK viewers; and two for entertainment, one for promotional ‘DVD extra’ kind of stuff, and one for longer clips from the BBC archive. The deal will run for ‘several’ years, and is non-exclusive. Ashley Highfield is quite clear on it though: it’s purely a promotional channel for the Beeb, not a full-on distribution mechanism.

As such, it’s not a particularly exciting announcement (in itself). ‘Controversially,’ says BBC news itself, ‘the BBC Worldwide page – adverts and all – can be seen in the UK.’ This might work out as the thin end of a wedge, but I don’t imagine people manning barricades over it. From my own perspective, I’m trying to get a high-profile client to bite the Youtube bullet at the moment, and this should help.

7 thoughts on “BBC deal with Youtube”

  1. Dear Simon,
    I find it interesting that this deal was announced so shortly after a clip of BBC news footage from September 11th 2001 appeared on youtube. The footage shows BBCs reporter in New York announcing the collapse of wtc7 over twenty minutes before it fell(the building is clearly intact in the report and is visible over the shoulder of the reporter). When asked to explain this anomaly the BBC replied that it couldnt clarify the matter because it had lost its original tapes of its coverage of the day.
    Despite the fact that the clip of BBCs news report has been viewed over 225,000 times and should therefore appear on youtube’s ‘most viewed’ page it is entirely absent from the list. Appearance on this list would in all likelihood increase the exposure of this story and highlight serious questions which the BBC has failed to answer convincingly such as:
    1. How has the BBC ‘lost’ its original coverage of one of the biggest stories of the last sixty years when it is required by law to keep a number of copies?
    2. How did the BBC know wtc7 was going to collapse when before September 11th 2001 no steel-framed skyscraper had ever collapsed due to fire?
    Yours sincerely,
    David Quinn

  2. The BBC Editors’ Blog has carried a couple of lengthy pieces debunking this as an urban myth. I find this whole ‘BBC part of the conspiracy’ thread to be a bit laughable, to be honest. I’ve worked in TV news; I know how chaotic and (frankly) crap it can be, even on a quiet day. Never mind (arguably) the biggest ‘live’ news story in history.

  3. Dear Simon,
    I never claimed that the BBC were ‘part of the conspiracy’. My main point was that since the deal was announced youtube have kept the clip (which is clearly an embarassment for the BBC) off their ‘most viewed’ and ‘most discussed’ pages. That is not an urban myth. It is fact which you can check out fo yourself here :
    In relation to the actual news report-I do not understand how chaos in a news room can lead to a story that has yet to happen being reported. The BBC could easily clear this up by stating where they got their information from. They could also explain how despite being legally required to keep numerous copies in seperate places of their coverage they have lost them all.
    yours sincerely,
    David Quinn

  4. If you read the BBC Editors blog piece I linked to, you’ll find a pretty thorough explanation of the whole thing.

  5. Dear Simon,
    Thank you for taking the time to reply. I had already checked out the BBCs explanation and found it far from thorough which is why I posed the original questions.
    kind regards,
    David Quinn

  6. Hi Simon
    Just to update you. The copies of the forementioned clip now won’t play on youtube. I dont know if this happens often on youtube. I could believe that it wasnt being interfered with if it was only one version of the clip, but all of them ?

  7. Hi Simon
    You might be interested to know that over 2000 people have already signed a petition at the petitiononline website to the BBC demanding answers to the following questions
    1. Who was the source who told your station that the Salomon Building had collapsed?
    2. Who from the BBC ordered YouTube and GoogleVideo to immediately start pulling the videos from their sites the day this story broke?
    3. Who from the BBC ordered Archive.Org to block and then remove their copies of the footage which (until this story broke) were freely available online?
    4. Who is responsible for and what were the circumstances surrounding the ‘cock-up’ which led to the loss of BBC World News’ 9/11 footage?
    5. Who cut reporter Jane Standley’s live feed from NYC at 5:18pm (EST) on 11/09/01?

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