British fans of classic television and the BBC, rejoice! The BBC Store, a new online store that allows U.K. residents to purchase and download digital copies of BBC shows, has finally been launched. Roughly 7,000 hours of television programs will be available and the service includes popular shows such as Sherlock, Doctor Who, and Fawlty Towers as well as an array of David Attenborough documentaries, and offerings from the BBC vaults such as plays by Dennis Potter and shows like Dad’s Amy.
The plans for the BBC Store were first detailed in 2013, but did not come into fruition until recently. This is a big step for the broadcaster, which has a long history of selling its programs on DVD, but now dedicated viewers will be able to buy individual episodes of their favorite BBC shows just hours after they have been aired. This program also follows the same format as the iPlayer online streaming service. Episodes purchased through the BBC Store can be stored via the dedicated website or on the broadcaster’s iPlayer service, where they will be kept alongside a preexisting 30-day free catch-up programming plan.
Customers can expect to pay 1.89 pounds for a single episode or up to 8 pounds for a six-part series. As an initiative to encourage people to use the service, the BBC is offering to take an extra 25 percent off of the first product purchased, including the pricier box sets. HD downloads of recent shows are also available, but will cost a little extra. Plans are being made to get mobile apps equipped with an offline viewing feature for downloaded programs, but at the moment this can only be done if you are watching the shows offline on your computer.
Unfortunately, the BBC has announced that they have “no plans” in regards to making the service available to non-U.K. residents. However, there has been mention of the future launch of a Netflix-subscription style service for BBC programs in the U.S. Let’s just hope that other countries, like Canada, will be included in the future as well!