April 06, 2022

Decision still pending on BBC World’s live-stream

The BBC has confirmed that a recorded and edited television program on the 2022 World Pipe Band Championships is being planned for broadcast on BBC Scotland the week after the event, but decision is yet to be made on whether the organization will again create a free live-stream of the event.

“We don’t have full details of our coverage yet, but we’ll definitely feature the final in a BBC One Scotland program, as we did pre-pandemic,” said a spokesperson for the UK’s public broadcaster, who added that a decision on a live-stream is likely to be made in the next few weeks.

The two years of the pandemic notwithstanding, the BBC has poured significant resources into the event. The publicly-funded, commercial-free broadcaster typically brings numerous mobile broadcasting trucks, more than a dozen high definition cameras, and myriad microphones to Glasgow Green to capture the final Saturday Grade 1 competition.

The World’s was first live-streamed in 2008, but limited the broadcast to a UK audience, in accordance with the organization’s policy of restricting content to the UK taxpayers who pay for the service.

BBC mobile units lined up behind the scenes at the 2016 World Championships.

In 2009, the BBC opened up the live-stream to a worldwide audience. At the time, offered various bit-rates were offered to accommodate viewers’ internet bandwidth speeds.

Host Jackie Bird interview Inveraray & District Pipe-Major Stuart Liddell at the 2017 World’s.

The World Pipe Band Championships have been packaged into various commercial recordings, radio and television broadcasts, and live shows since at least the 1970s.

The terms of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Associations licensing agreement with the broadcaster are not known. Live and recorded video “sync” licenses, which the BBC would complete with PRS for Music and other UK music licensing collectives, would be substantial, with royalties then distributed to the composers and performers of the music, provided they are members of a music rights organization.

The RSPBA also licenses its event to Glasgow Live, the terms of which are also not known. Glasgow Live would also have to pay a music festival license to hold the event, again with royalties paid out to performers and rights holders of the music performed on the day.

Hosts for the World’s television broadcast or broadcasts also are not confirmed. It is assumed that Pipeline host Gary West will be the voice of the BBC Radio Scotland show, and that long-time television personality Jackie Bird will return to the video show along with Bob Worrall, who is this year scheduled to judge at the Friday competition.

With few non-UK and Ireland bands planning to travel to Scotland in August, the worldwide audience for a live broadcast would likely increase substantially. A pipes|drums poll of Grade 1 pipe-majors indicated that at most only 15 bands plan to compete at the 2022 World Pipe Band Championships. Canada’s 78th Fraser Highlanders and Simon Fraser University and the United States’ City of Dunedin and St. Thomas Alumni are the only non-UK/Ireland bands saying that they plan to enter.



BBC World’s streaming confirmed
August 1, 2017

BBC deal limits media coverage of World’s
August 6, 2016

World’s to be streamed again by BBC
July 15, 2015

BBC says that live streaming of 2010 World’s still not decided
July 31, 2010

BBC Scotland again brings Glasgow Green to the world
July 31, 2010

BBC Scotland to stream World’s live from Glasgow Green
June 30, 2009

BBC Radio Scotland Undecided About Webcasting
July 31, 2000




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