The BBC has announced a plan to offer its programs for permanent download minutes after they finish airing on British airwaves.
Mark Thompson, director general of the BBC, confirmed rumours of an iTunes-style online shop during an address to the Royal Television Society overnight.
Unlike the present iPlayer service, which allows viewers to stream the BBC's programs online after airing on free-to-air TV, the new service, codenamed Project Barcelona, will allow users to purchase a permanent digital copy of an episode or series that's already gone to air.
At this stage, no mention has been made of international availability of this new download service. One would assume that, at least initially, the service will be restricted to the United Kingdom, as allowing international viewers immediate access to BBC shows would undermine the corporation's international rights deals.
Project Barcelona will be put before the BBC Trust later this year.