ABC iView to cost $2.93m this financial year

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ABC iView to cost $2.93m this financial year

Record amount of views.

The ABC will spend $2.93 million to deliver its iView content service this financial year.

ABC iView is a video-on-demand platform based on Adobe Flash that the Australian public broadcaster uses to deliver its videos to PCs and the PlayStation 3 games console.

Last October, iView recorded 286,000 visitors and 1.054 million visits; its highest on record.

A yet-to-be-published answer to a question on notice from Greens Party Senator Scott Ludlam revealed the broadcaster's estimates that it would need $2.93 million this financial year.

"The budget for iView in the 2009/2010 financial year totals $1.33 million," the ABC said. It said the funding included staff costs, rights clearances and acquisitions, platform development, video encoding and operational costs.

But an "additional" $1.6 million would be incurred this financial year to deliver the content to audiences, it said in answer to Ludlam.

"Based on iView content as a percentage of the overall ABC online content, the ABC estimates that an additional $1.6 million will be incurred in 2009/10 to deliver the content to audiences.

"The cost of delivering iView content ... will increase further as audiences grow."

ABC spokesman Jane Wilson told iTnews the $1.33 million came from the "project and operational" budget from within ABC TV and the $1.6 million came from the "technical services" budget that related to the server infrastructure and content hosting cost projections.

Asked if the service would shut down if the technical services budget was not forthcoming, Wilson said the scenario had "never been discussed" and was "highly unlikely".

"The service is growing in popularity and is a priority for the ABC," Wilson said.

ABC managing director Mark Scott told Senate Estimates in October that use had "grown significantly" last year.

"The other thing we have noted is that the traffic on iView is significantly higher with those ISPs who allow iView to be viewed in an unmetered way [than those that don't]," he said, referring to ISPs that don't charge for their customers to access iView content.

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