BBC sees Apple TV as another potential distribution platform

The Director of future media and technology at the BBC, Ashley Highfield, reckons that the new AppleTV could be a potential partner for the iPlayer.

By getting iPlayer onto iTunes, the BBC would be able to leverage on its ability to provide with free quality content.

Highfield stated on his BBC blog that Apple's second take on the AppleTV coupled with the Cupertino-based company move to a rental model "means that we can look to getting BBC iPlayer onto this platform too, as we should be able to use the rental functionality to allow our programmes to be downloaded, free, but retained for a time window, and then erased, as our rightsholders currently insist."

He also hinted at the forthcoming release of the BBC iPlayer on the virgin cable TV platform in a few months time, which will be, according to him, an important step for the BBC.

However, some have commented that banking on diverging technologies (Sky, Virgin, Windows Media, Freeview, Youtube, Mobile phones Tiscali etc) might not be the brightest thing to do, especially as BBC's content contains digital rights management solutions.

The BBC also revealed that the overwhelming number of users preferred Youtube-like, embedded flash players, rather than P2P downloads with most viewers spending on average 25 minutes per video.