Mark Thompson and an Open BBC

I can’t find the full text of the speech anywhere but The Guardian has published extensive quotes. Most of the publicity from Edinburgh coming from Thompson and (Jana Bennett) has focused on the announcements that the BBC is going to launch trials to internet stream BBC ONE or TWO in the new year, launch a 7 day TV catch up service (similar to the Radio service) and the launch encompassing all of this of a MyBBCPlayer which will also feature a growing amount of BBC TV and video archive.
However buried in Thompson’s speech was this ringing (ok, a few caveats) endorsement of openness and the concept of many to many and a very a rare example of a TV executive using the phrase “network effect”.

“I also believe that these digital rights solutions will exist in a world which is increasingly open and interoperable and we are working with partners like Microsoft and Kontiki to find them. The first stage of digital was notable not just for the world wide web but for its many successful walled gardens and pieces of proprietary hardware – from the first Sky digibox to the iPod. I’m sure some proprietary products and services will continue to flourish in this second stage – we’re partners both with Sky in satellite TV and with providers of linear services on both cable and ADSL. But the biggest momentum at present seems to be behind open solutions where choice is wider, where the consumer is fully in control and where awesome network effects can get to work”

UPDATE: The full text of the speech is here: Mark Thompson, BBC Press Office | Speech given at the Edinburgh International Television Festival 2005

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