Cross-channel on demand service to launch tomorrow
End of Show has learned that the BBC may tomorrow announce a licensing deal for their iPlayer technology. The iPlayer has been a massive success for the BBC, enabling viewers to access whole series via their red button, online or on mobile technology. Whilst Channel 4 OD has had similar success their technology can only allow viewing of past programmes for up to a week after transmission and can only be accessed via services such as Virgin Media and online. ITV currently has no facility for viewers to watch their programmes on demand.
Under the new plans, viewers of BBC, ITV and Channel 4 will be able to access selected programmes on Virgin Media, online, via the red button interactive service, iPhone and iPod touch, Nokia N96, Nintendo Wii and Playstation 3. BT Vision currently charges customers for a slimmed down version of iPlayer content but it is not clear whether they will expand this to other channels.
The move has been in the pipeline since early 2007 when the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV unveiled plans for a video on demand service called Kangaroo. It is not known whether this will remain the plan, or whether the name Kangaroo will be retained. Another floated name has been SeeSaw.
‘Series stacking’ was made available on iPlayer this year, allowing viewers to retain access to an entire series as the episodes were released. Previously episodes would expire after a week.
The announcement will be made as iPlayer celebrates its first anniversary tomorrow. The application was in beta until Christmas Day 2007. In December this year the Competition Commission reported concerns over the potential power of the platform.