BBC’s Rivera: 2012 pivotal for TV’s evolution

As the BBC prepares a big push for its online coverage of this summer’s Olympic games, Ralph Rivera, the BBC’s director of future media, says this year could be pivotal for TV’s next evolution.

“Our aspiration is that 2012 will do for digital and connected televisions what the coronation did for TV,” he told the FT.

“We will be on all the major television platforms, set-top box platforms, video game consoles and mobile and tablet platforms,” says Rivera. “We are getting to the point where it is ubiquitous.”

Though the BBC iPlayer is used by 40 per cent of online adults in the UK every month, who watched 187 million videos in December alone, Rivera said he hopes the wider range of coverage that online video and mobile apps can provide during the Olympics will push it fully into the mainstream.

The iPlayer remains the poster child for BBC technology but Rivera’s remit includes its entire website, mobile apps, and Freeview’s interactive Red Button service, which is used by 20 million people a month to watch extra content.

“In the same way as the BBC has a role in making sure there is a healthy TV ecosystem, the BBC should be playing the same sort of role in the digital sector,” he adds. “It’s part of why we have a licence fee.”

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