It looks like the devils in the details.
I'm late to this one so let me see if I've got it clear.
No fees as the UK license fee *already* covered the costs and you have a right to it.
So you don't mind entering your license number at log in as you check out whatever you want, citizen? Don't worry the information will not be sold to more than a couple of marketing companies. The rest of you can just hand over your credit card details now.
If I wanted that kind of welcome I'd go through C&I at a US airport. The TSA excel at making you feel like they'd prefer you just got back on the plane and f***ed off where you came from.
In short there are a whole series of *choices* that can make this *reasonably* acceptable or *universally* hated.
a) Is there a free option like iPlayer. Limited life view it or loose it, no transfers but no cost. Remember the BBC *could* make *all* online content PPV. They have not done so *yet*.
b)DRM. Option of cheaper (but tied) version versus play on anything (with the right codec, which is *another* issue).
c) Payment method. It'd had better be simple (as there is likely to be a fair bit of impulse buying) and be able to buy a whole series as easily as a single episode.
d)Price. The biggie. The various markets have shown there *is* a price most people will pay to hold something *permanently*.
The rights issue is *very* important. "New Tricks" was not done by the BBC, "Men Behaving Badly" was done by a subsidiary of Thames and so on.
I'm not sure if a flat fee or pricing by frequency (the more people download it the cheaper it gets) but at least it must cover the *infrastructure* and rights costs, which are going to be *substantial*.
A quick check suggests the largest D2 digital tapes (3.5 Hrs) have an uncompressed capacity of 226GB. C.Hill noted the BBC has about 240 000 of them. That's about 55 *Exabytes*. The tape silo (either with them directly or transferred to some higher density media) may *still* have a place in the architecture. And I'll bet there's still a fair bit on film and analogue video. This is rather more than some 2nd had Dell sitting in some teenagers bedroom and will call for *proper* systems admin skills.
*Properly* run this can be a way to for people to *own* things they remembered but never quite understood or introduce new generations to stuff they never knew about (Top Of The Pops as a cultural time capsule anyone?) while generating a substantial cash flow to fund upgrades and new programming.
There is also the road less traveled.
Turn it all over to the National Archives and let them sort it out. Hence my smile.