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Can I get that on DVD?

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Roly Keating | 17:25 UK time, Monday, 17 October 2011

We're always looking to find better ways to make the BBC's back-catalogue of programmes more discoverable by our audiences. Last month I wrote here about BBC Four's move into curating online themed collections of new and archive content, and their launch collection Army: A Very British Institution has proved to be popular, with over 1 million programme views to date.

But beyond our public service collections there's a large and growing mix of shows from BBC radio and television available to buy or access on a commercial basis - whether as physical products like CDs or Blu-rays or in digital-only formats - and we want to make it easy and intuitive for audiences to track down programmes that may no longer be offered via the BBC itself but are available elsewhere. A question many TV producers have heard from viewers is, "Can I get that on DVD?".

With that in mind, we're launching today a number of improvements to the BBC Online feature previously known as Buyer's Guide. If you've used this before, you'll know that it provides a link from selected programme pages on BBC Online to retailers who offer purchasable copies of the relevant programme.

So far this has been almost entirely restricted to audiobooks based on BBC Radio shows, but we're now extending it to include DVD and Blu-Ray editions of our TV programmes as well. As of today you should find links from selected TV programme pages to around 350 different products from a variety of retailers, and the range will grow steadily from now on. To begin with we're focussing on programmes that have recently been broadcast, but over time we'll include a wider selection of older programmes.

Commercial Avaliability module

We're also changing the name to Commercial Availability: we think this describes more clearly what the feature is there to do. The look and feel has evolved too, to fit with the new overall design of BBC Online.

In Delivering Quality First we re-stated the BBC's determination to improve audiences' access to and engagement with our programmes - past, present and future - whether they're available on the BBC website or elsewhere, and today's changes represent another step in that direction. We hope you find them useful.

Roly Keating is Director of Archive Content and Executive Editor of BBC Online


  • Comment number 1.

    Of course, if you live abroad you can download and view the archive via the commercial version of the BBC iPlayer for a small subscription.
    Crazy that this service is not available in the UK to the license fee payers that funded it.

  • Comment number 2.

    I am desperately trying to get hold of the BBC mini-series 'Shoulder to Shoulder' screened in the 1970s and repeated on BBC4 in 2008, but to no avail. Are there any plans to repeat this, or even better release it on DVD?

  • Comment number 3.

    My daughter is 20 weeks old and suffers from Congential Adrenal Hyperplasia (C.A.H). I believe that on Tuesday 11th October 2011 @ 22:35 a documentary called 'Me, My Sex and I'was aired. I am unable to watch this on catch up as it has past 7 days since it went on air. Is there any way I can obtain a copy (even if i have to pay) or is the programme going to be aired again any time soon. please help as i believe this programme can help me accept my daughters condition and help relieve my anxieities and stressed related to my child growing up with this sex disorder and help me understand the condition more as a new parents. please help as i am desperate and gutted i missed this one off opportunity to watch this awareness and i believe, informative programme

  • Comment number 4.

    I appeared as an extra in a Play For Today in about 1973 which starred Jan Francis.I think it was called A Lonely Man's Lover.How can I find out if it still exists in the archive?

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi, I'm Heather Taylor, editor of About the BBC and I have a few answers to some of the questions above:

    @amandaseys - Sorry but 'Shoulder to Shoulder' has not been made available on DVD yet. We have passed your request to BBC Worldwide who release BBC DVD content.

    Hi @terrytanya - I'm sorry that you missed this programme, we can't confirm whether it will be repeated yet. The page related to this programme contains some useful links and a long clip to view which you may find useful: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0139jv4

    @Monty Burns - Thanks for your interest in Play for Today. This programme is not currently available in the archive and it looks like the DVD related to this as listed in IMDB http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0675317 does not include A Lonely Man's Lover. Sorry we can't help you more with this.


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