The BBC and Microsoft have signed an agreement to explore ways in which the broadcaster's content can be better exploited on the internet and through new distribution channels, such as mobile devices.
The non-exclusive memorandum of understanding aims to “define the framework within which the companies can explore opportunities for the delivery and consumption of BBC content and the evolution of next-generation broadcasting”, said the pair.
BBC director general Mark Thompson met Microsoft chairman Bill Gates in Seattle to sign the deal.
The agreement includes plans for the BBC’s online archive, a new website based on web 2.0 interactive technologies, and examining new ways to share content.
Thompson said, “To ensure that the BBC is able to embrace the creative challenges of the digital future, we need to forge strategic partnerships with technology companies and distributors for the benefit of licence payers.”
Gates said, “Our vision fits squarely with the BBC’s charter to lead the industry in delivering content that is compelling and accessible. I look forward to working together to develop new models for content delivery and consumption.”
The memorandum of understanding aims to identify areas of common interest between the BBC and Microsoft on which a strategic alliance could be developed.
Areas of potential interest include search and navigation, distribution, and content enablement. Any actual procurements of new technology, or launch of new services by the BBC would be subject to regulatory approval, said the pair.