Tuesday, 20 March 2007

2. TV Channel Website > BBC Two

The BBC Two website is the most advanced of the BBC’s UK channel websites. It uses pioneering video technology within the site and is currently going through a BBC Trust Public Value Test to ensure it is commercially fair for its rivals – it is expected to be given the full go ahead by autumn this year. Once finally fully opened, many BBC Two shows will be available in full to stream for up to 7 days after its transmission date. Moreover, there will be – and currently is – exclusive content such as video diaries and behind the scenes footage for users to watch. As such, this site can only really be used to its full potential by broadband users due to the abundance of video content, images and Flash animation.

Since this February’s “window to the world” rebrand of BBC Two, the website has been revamped to coincide with the new look. The rebrand still includes the world famous ‘2s’, which have become synonymous with the BBC Two brand. As such, the BBC Two website gives fans the chance to make ‘Citizen Idents’ using the ‘2’ template. Makers can then upload their homemade creations and the best are shown on the site. This is an excellent fusion of web 2.0, participation, interactivity and exploitation the BBC Two brand, particularly for cult fans of the ‘2s’. Moreover, a wall-chart of the ‘2s’ past and present is available to download. The ‘Stuff from You’ section of the homepage acts as a pseudo user-generated section, which allows fans to send in relevant content or to link to a blog or photo which may be of interest. The website as a whole has been revamped using the new BBC Two colour palette (dominated by “Deep Aqua”) and replicas of the new on-screen promos with the '2' forming a ‘window’ to the trailer behind it. The boxed-logos of the main four UK channels from the BBC are shown at the foot of each page – as with all their respective websites - increasing cross-promotional activity.

The website is perhaps a little too simplistic and ‘fun’ for its own good. The site is broken down into just 3 categories: Home, Everything and TV Listings, making it quite hard to navigate immediately to something specific.

‘Home’ acts as a highlights or ‘best of’ page, which shows the editors’ pick of the available video. This is presented as a slideshow-style offering with full video and audio for each of the 5 picks. There is also a short text description and details of the transmission date of the programme on the channel.
‘TV Listings’ leads to the schedule for BBC Two for the day; with links leading to the following 7 day’s programmes. Importantly, it follows the same layout as each of the other BBC UK TV channel website’s schedules but each schedule uses the channel’s own unique branding.
'Everything’ shows all of the programmes available in category form. However, this is quite ridiculously limited due to the small number of shows currenly available through the site. Comedy is the only ‘real’ category, with other shows being filed under ‘More from…’. The ‘Citizen Ident’ promotion is also available through here. However, most interestingly is the category ‘Two on YouTube’. This month, the BBC announced its deal with video-sharing website YouTube, allowing ‘short-form’ BBC content to become available on the site on three distinct channels:

1 > From the BBC: Short-form content from UK programmes which only act as “promotional content” for BBC shows. All the content here is exclusive to YouTube – such as video diaries and behind the scenes footage.

2 > From BBC Worldwide: An entertainment-based channel showcasing the best of BBC content – including Top Gear and Spooks. This will be available worldwide and as such, some advertising will be present on these pages. These, the BBC has assured, will be non-intrusive and efforts will be made to ensure UK users will avoid any advertising.

3 > From BBC World (i.e. BBC News): This channel is yet to launch, but when it does it will be available only to non-UK residents. This is because the same content will be available on the BBC News website (under the branding ‘BBC News’) where currently it is not for overseas (where news content is watched on BBC World television). The channel will be commercially funded and will be updated with around 30 clips per day of BBC News output including “up to the minute news and analysis”.

Two on YouTube’ fits into the ‘BBC’ and ‘BBC Worldwide’ categories, and whilst the BBC Two website is under review, YouTube is subtly being promoted as an alternative for additional content.


BBC Press Office: BBC Two Re-brand - Press Release

BBC Two Ident Wallchart - Old & New idents are honoured

Citizen Idents - The best of viewers' BBC Two ident mocks

BBC Cult: The '2s' - The now defunct website about the BBC Two idents

BBC News: BBC strikes Google-YouTube Deal - Coverage of the BBC's recent tech deal

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