The BBC is making a limited number of full-length episodes of natural history program The Life of Birds available to U.S. Internet users, marking the first time such long-form BBC content will have appeared online.

The move, announced Thursday, is part of an attempt to scope out the potential for long-form online video content, the U.K. broadcaster said. The project will be restricted to five hour-long episodes of the show, which was written and hosted by David Attenborough and first aired in 1998.

Only viewers in the U.S. will have access to the full-length shows on YouTube. In the United Kingdom, long-form BBC content is not available on the online video aggregator.

YouTube said Thursday it has renewed its global partnership with BBC Worldwide, launching a range of new short-form video channels including BBC America, BBC Explore and BBC Earth later this year.

Content available on the channels will range from drama (Doctor Who, the U.K. version of Primeval and Hotel Babylon) to natural history fare like Amazon With Bruce Parry and Extreme Everest.

The BBC already has a BBC Food channel on YouTube and plans to start a comedy channel in the near future.