back to article Beeb flogs Doctor Who episodes via Facebook

BBC Worldwide has begun offering episodes of the Corporation's hugely popular Doctor Who as rental options via Facebook. "As we have grown internationally, we've seen through our Facebook channel that fans who are loving the new series are asking for a guide into our rich Doctor Who back catalogue," said the Beeb's commercial …


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  1. Mike Smith

    Turn off HTTPS?

    On Facebook?

    Is it April 1st already?

  2. GrumpyJoe
    Thumb Down

    So I have to tie myself into

    Facebook to get access to these BBC assets?


  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Been wondering lately...

    ...if the BBC produces a show (rather than buying an outside one) and does so using the license fee, do the people of the UK (at least the ones who pay the TV tax) not sort of 'own' it anyway - why pay again?

    I should point out i have no idea how the BBC produces shows exactly, or who holds the rights afterwards (Beeb, prod. co, writers etc.) so I'm just asking.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Broadcast rights and stuff

      As I understand it the law allows us to record a TV programme in order to watch it once, strictly speaking we don't have the right to keep recordings indefinitely although many of us do. I dont' suppose anybody has ever been prosecuted for doing so, but that is This is regardless of whether the programme was made by or broadcast by the BBC or anybody else.

      The licence fee does not give us the right to watch any BBC content on demand, although it may do at some time in the future.

      You may or not consider that fair, but that's how it's always been and nothing has changed in that respect the internet age. Although some people think that somehow the introduction of such things as bittorrent have magically changed our rights.

      1. John G Imrie

        I dont' suppose anybody has ever been prosecuted for doing so

        I can't recall either.

        I do recall the BBC asking if anyone had copies of early programs, that the BBC had wiped from it's library, to come forward, so as they could add them back.

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      The BBC doesn't necessarily own its own old programmes.

      When they"ve wanted to repeat old radio shows on Radio 4 Extra (formerly BBC 7), they have had to make new deals with the cast, writers, etc. Sometimes those people say no.

      As for putting it on Facebook.... it isn't the only place where you can see these things, but it's one that works.

      The HTTPS issue sounds like bad news, however.

    3. James Micallef Silver badge


      Surely UK residents can see any BBC content for free on iPlayer?

      1. Captain Underpants


        Only if they've uploaded it and made it available. iPlayer doesn't operate in the same way as eg 4OD (which keeps a bunch of its shows available perpetually in a with-ads-interspersed format that's pretty good) - most stuff on there is only available for 30 days from when it was last broadcast OTA.

        Particularly in the case of their biggest cash cow (as far as I can tell), the Beeb aren't going to willingly make it available for free if they can help it.

    4. Axel

      Re: Been wondering lately...

      UK residents can watch loads of BBC programs on-line through the BBC i-Player for no extra cost.

      This arrrangement with FB is for non-residents who don't get to use the i-Player.

  4. Jim 48

    MSN Video

    It should be noted that some episodes are also available on MSN Video for free;, although I'm not sure if there are regional restrictions.

  5. graeme leggett Silver badge

    Good idea and alternatives exist

    Makes sense for the Beeb to market them episodes as a tie in - there are already Doctor Who and Doctor Who magazine (a licencee) Facebook pages.

    For those aghast at having to give their money to Facebook, they can buy episodes outright on itunes, or even go down the shop and purchase the DVDs. IN my case I can get the DVDs out of loan from my local library for a modest fee (and longer than 48 hours)

    No-ones made more of the having to turn off secure browsing? I had to do it to enter a competition on Facebook - an app thing?

  6. Jon Smit

    Recording BBC programmes

    The BBC is very unlikely to get upset by anyone making personal copies of their programmes .If it wasn't for people making their own copies of classic BBC programmes such as Dr Who, Dad's Army, Steptoe & Son, those programmes would have been completely lost.

    I can't understand why it's necessary to sell programmes through Failbook. The BBC have their own direct sales site and I'm certain they have sufficient bandwidth to run an 'on demand' service.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You're right

      The BBC don't generally get upset by people copying their output for personal use, even though it is strictly illegal to keep the stuff indefinitely. Where they do get upset is people distributing their content without authorisation and I'm sure they get even more upset when this happens outside the UK.

  7. CarlC

    And some old episodes are

    also available on Blinkbox, for free too ( There are some of the very early ones too, even before my time lol

  8. Dave 15

    What screaming mess causes the https stupidity

    What have they managed to get wrong?

  9. Sir Barry

    No, no, no and no

    I pay my TV licence so I've already paid to watch BBC ouput.

    I have a Virgin + Box so I get the BBC iPlayer thrown in.

    After a crappy experience I refuse to watch streaming anything on the computer.

    I deleted my Facebook account a long time ago due to the utter crappiness of the site.

    And, I'll never switch off security for anybody.

  10. Lamont Cranston

    I've always thought that BBC produced material

    should be sold, in the UK at least, at the cost price of reproducing it (ie. the price of a blank casette/DVD/whatever), given that the content has already been paid for by the TV license.

    Then again, the TV license is likely insufficient to adequately fund the BBC, so I don't really object to them selling their stuff.

  11. jon 72

    Why Pay at all?

    A quick check of my favourite movie site reveals almost every episode between 1963 and 1989 is available to watch for free now with a few even lurking on YouTube. More recent episodes from 2005 to present also available.

  12. Dave Turner

    All the fans have never heard of BitTorrent?

    Why would anybody even use facebook to buy a single thing to begin with? I've seen just about every episode of Dr Who available on The Pirate Bay so why would I bother with FB if I wanted to see old episodes?

    Hell, BBC America runs them in the afternoons here anyway.

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