The BBC’s announcement last week that it will allow users to download television programmes from iPlayer direct to their mobile handsets, via a wireless internet connection or “over the air” is based on a series of deals with technology and licensing companies CMLA, CoreMedia and Intertrust.
As a result the BBC is now allowed to use OMA DRM 2.0, a digital rights management protection system developed by the Open Mobile Alliance and offer audiences the ability to download television programmes from BBC iPlayer directly to their mobile device.
The system, which debuted on the Nokia N96, will be compatibility tested with other mobile devices with the intention to roll out on more devices in the future.
Apple device owners don’t have access to the new features on account of Apple’s reluctance to share or open up its digital rights management system, FairPlay.
Matthew Postgate, Controller of Mobile, BBC, said: “Mobile is an extremely important part of our strategy to allow audiences to access BBC content on multiple platforms at their convenience.
“Our agreements with CMLA, CoreMedia and Intertrust have allowed digital rights protection on full television programmes for mobile for the first time.
“Each of these companies plays a valuable part in helping the BBC evolve its services for audiences and push the boundaries of the broadcasting industry.
“We are really pleased to be developing these types of partnerships with the wider industry.”
Gary Mittelstaedt, CMLA’s Policy Chairman, said: “CMLA is pleased to be joining the highly respected BBC in supporting their launch of this important new service.
“The BBC’s selection of the open industry standard OMA DRM for content protection and IP Datacast over DVB-H for broadcast service protection, coupled with the trust authority CMLA, is an important industry milestone that continues the momentum of these key industry specifications.”
Willms Buhse, of CoreMedia, said: “CoreMedia is proud to be part of BBC’s new mobile video service by supplying flexible technology for multi channel delivery, embracing the standards of OMA DRM 2.0.
“With the iPlayer, BBC offers its high quality content to a wide audience. Moving images are king and we are delighted to support the new service with providing best practice content management.”
Talal Shamoon, Intertrust’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “The BBC is one of the world’s most trusted leading drivers of online video services.
“We are delighted that the BBC has chosen an open standard such as OMA to provide DRM for its mobile services and welcome them to a growing family of Intertrust licensees in this area.”
This development complements the BBC’s alternative download route to portable devices which allows users to transfer programmes via their PCs.
BBC iPlayer television programmes are available for “over the air” download on the Nokia N96 and in the future other compatible mobile devices for seven days after broadcast.