But the BBC still have to restrict access, even to their own programs in many cases, to an audience outside the UK. Take a widely-syndicated BBC-produced show such as the Teletubbies (yes, I know, but I have a 2-year-old!). The BBC have sold the North American rights to PBS - so they have given up the right to advertize or broadcast it there.
Successful US shows are sold in multiple deals to multiple countries, often with exclusivity in a particular geographical area. Internet has broken this system, but the media companies prefer the path of digital rights enforcement, whatever the ineffectiveness, rather than give up on the concept itself.