Geo-Targeted BBC Video on Demand Decoded

It was nearly three years ago, at BBC Worldwide Showcase Syndication in October 2011, that Ron Pisaneschi of Idaho Public Television first inquired about purchasing VOD rights to go with standard television rights on acquisitions from the BBC catalog. Shout out number one goes to Ron. Shout out number two goes to John Decker of KPBS who led a panel session on VOD rights at Showcase 2012. And shout out number three goes to Max Duke, formerly of PBS and now VP of Content & Community Partnerships at WPBT for doing yet another panel at Showcase 2013. After many a twists and turns as we approach Showcase 2014, we at long last have a way handle these unique opportunities with stations.

By using COVE and Bento, together with and geo-location services, PBS Digital makes delivering the BBC titles via VOD as painless and practical as possible—without additional cost. This solution will satisfy the geo-location requirements surrounding VOD rights and give stations a means to manage their BBC VOD library very easily. With this solution, stations will not have to work with geo-service vendors or build their own applications. It is possible, however, for stations to achieve similar geo-blocked solutions by using the COVE API, or by embedding the Partner Player code directly onto the station site.

How it Works
Portions of the BBC Worldwide product library have been uploaded to COVE in high-quality, bug-free formats by five system licensees: Twin Cities Public Television, Vegas PBS, Wisconsin Public Television, Idaho Public Television and KPBS. PBS pulls the episodes together into separate video collections for each series title. (And here comes shout out number four to José Fernández at PBS who is organizing efforts going forward.) From there, stations will be able to upload or build their own custom template in Bento and add in geo-location data (state and/or county). When you are ready to stream the content, pick your program from the list and it will be live in your site. When the VOD window expires, just remove the BBC Module from your site.

When will Content be Available?
This work has been completed, so you can begin building your template, which PBS will help guide stations through. If interested, please contact José Fernández.

How Does This Work with VOD Rights?
How you use this platform will vary depending on whether you are streaming a one-off special or a series. In the cases of one off specials, you have 14 days from your first release of that special to have it available with geo-filtering to your viewers. For example, your broadcast premiere of Last Days of Anne Boleyn is April 1, and your VOD premiere is April 2, you will have to remove the content on April 16.

In the cases of series, it is likewise easily handled. You will have the right to leave the series’ video collection on your site for 14 days after the premiere of the final episode of the series. For example, you premiere Episode 1 of House of Cards on April 1 and the last episode on April 22. If you post the VOD video collection on April 2 it can stay up (with all episodes available) until May 6. If you post the VOD video collection on April 23, it still must come down by May 6.

The beauty at the core of this methodology is that, beyond the stations that volunteer to do the encoding and uploading of titles, your responsibility is only to create a template, enter state/county coverage info and choose your selected programs from a drop-down list when you are ready to go live.

What stations are Making Use of VOD Rights Already?

It’s a very healthy list, as you’ll see below. Please note, not all of these stations use the PBS end-to-end solution. We hope to feature as many as we can on this blog in the coming months:

What Titles from Showcase 2013 Carried VOD Rights with Them?
The short answer—a ton. See below:

By Julius Cain | VP, Syndication Sales | BBC Worldwide North America

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