BBC iPlayer Coming to the United States

The BBC soon plans to launch the long-awaited global version of its iPlayer TV service on a subscription-only basis – only for the iPad. The service, carrying BBC shows like Doctor Who on-demand, will likely be very popular in the U.S. Don’t get too excited yet, though. The service will only be available in select markets at first, and it won’t show up until sometime next summer. No pricing model has been announced as of yet.

The iPlayer has only been available in the UK for about three years now, but is extremely popular. It was pushing out 100 million downloads per month at the beginning of 2010 – and saw more than 140 million in the month of October. “That makes it more popular than Hulu, which clocked 260 million requests but which includes shows from at least three broadcasters and which operates in a market whose population is five times larger.”

But, just as Hulu is available only in North America, the TV industry’s dependence on temporal and territorial windows means the license fee-funded, non-profit BBC can host shows on iPlayer only within the UK and only for a week, before rights revert to producers for exploitation.

What are your thoughts? Do you plan to subscribe to the iPlayer if – and when – it is available for your iPad?