BBC brings Doctor Who library to Facebook

BBC Worldwide ventures into social media series distribution, selling nine Who "stories" via Facebook credits.
07-14-11Dr Who Pic

Fans of popular British sci-fi series Doctor Who now have expanded access to the show’s library via the launch of the new “Watch Doctor Who” Facebook app in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Seven of the series’ digitally remastered “stories” (containing multiple episodes) are now available to rent on the social media site for Canadian fans, which are purchased via Facebook credits and available for 48 hours. One of the stories, “The Greatest Show in the Galaxy,” has never been released to DVD and will be a Facebook exclusive.

The stories cost 15 Facebook credits each, which translates to $1.50 USD. Facebook credits start at 50 credits for $5.00  and users can also earn credits through signing up for a variety of services offered by online sponsors.

The Facebook distribution channel is a new venture for BBC Worldwide, the BBC’s commercial arm, and is, as far as she knows, a first for a TV series on Facebook, Fiona Eastwood, franchise commercial director, BBC, tells  Playback Daily.

“We are very much testing out the waters with this [and if it's successful], it will show other big brands that there is opportunity for this,” she says.

Ease of access to the show’s back catalog was something that many of the show’s over 1.1 million worldwide fans had long been asking for, she adds.

“We’d been getting feedback that fans wanted to know where to start with our back catalogue,” she says, explaining that the show’s loyal Facebook fan base made it an ideal distribution channel for the show’s library.

 Editor’s note: This story originally stated that nine of the Doctor Who stories are available via Facebook for rental, but due to an error in the press materials provided, that number has been amended to seven. Playback regrets the error.