BBCA Opens Big on iTunes


A day after some
BBC America shows became available for purchase on Apple's iTunes service, three of the series vaulted into the iTunes top-10 list of TV-series downloads.

BBC America timed the arrival of its shows on iTunes to just after last Saturday's debut of season two of Robin Hood on the cable channel. So thus far, only one episode of that action-adventure show is on iTunes, for $1.99 each, the standard per-episode rate.

For shows where full seasons are available, the first and second seasons of sci-fi drama Torchwood ($25.87 each) and the third series of comedy Little Britain ($11.94) cracked the top-10 list of iTunes TV season sales last Tuesday night, after such titles as Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Showtime's Dexter and FX's Nip/Tuck.

“I think there's a huge untapped audience out there for our programming,” both among people who get the channel and among people who've only read about some of its shows, Beth Clearfield, VP of digital media and business development for BBC Worldwide Americas, said last Wednesday, two days after the iTunes launch.

BBC America shows had been available for on-demand rental on the Amazon Unbox service and via Netflix, but iTunes is the network's first major “sell-through” medium via digital download, she said.

Clearfield said “our plan is to keep rolling out new programs into that mix including new ones that are launching on BBC America” as well as selected titles from the network's back catalog of shows.