In a wide-ranging, exclusive interview with IP&TV News published today, David Weiland EVP, Asia at BBC Worldwide, says that the BBC is looking closely at developing its digital presence in Asia.
Speaking ahead of his appearance at this year’s Broadband and TV Connect Asia (12th-13th May 2015, Suntec, Singapore), Weiland was optimistic about the digital opportunities in a region where OTT appears to be gaining increasing amounts of traction. “It feels like digital disruption is beginning to take off, certainly in those markets where broadband mobile speeds are fast enough to deliver video,” Weiland explained.
Although the BBC’s UK OTT platform iPlayer presents certain difficulties in the international market on account of its being a catch-up service, Weiland said that the BBC was looking at what digital alternatives it could offer in the region.
“We obviously already have linear channels, and I think we want to work with our affiliate partners (in the major markets like Singapore and Malaysia and Indonesia) to develop digital versions of our channels,” he said. “They might look and feel a bit like the iPlayer but I think they’ll be different because they won’t just be catch-up services.”
Weiland added that these digital efforts constituted a key component in the fight against piracy in the region: “One of the reasons people go to pirate sites is that the content isn’t necessarily available in that market. We’re spending quite a lot of time trying to make sure that our content is available on legitimate sites.”