BBC Plans To Open Up iPlayer To Rivals As Kangaroo Plans Falter

The BBC is about to open up the iPlayer platform to all the other major UK broadcasters as a result of the recent public service broadcasting review ordered by Ofcom.

According to the Guardian - which cites sources close to the corporation - Channel4, ITV and Channel 5 would have free and unlimited access to the technology. It is also likely that Sky, Virgin and Tiscali could also be invited at a later stage.

BBC is also facing the damning prospect of losing a significant portion of the license fees which could explain its decision as it would help its competitors to reduce their research and development costs.

iPlayer has been one of the most successful technology of 2008 with more than 300 million programme views since its launch.

Eric Huggens, BBC's director of future media & technology, did say, back in October 2008, that the corporation would like to avoid a situation of "death by a thousand cuts" and federate a very fragmented market.

Should the BBC open up the platform, it will provide the industry with an open IPTV standard which will reduce the cost of entering the market, hence increasing competition.

Ultimately, the iPlayer could become a complementary service to Youtube and other online video services, essentially becoming an online Freeview which Kangaroo was looking to become.

These are indeed interesting times as only last week, the Competition Commission was criticising BBC, ITV and Channel 4 for trying to corner the UK VOD market with the Kangaroo project while ITV has rebranded its online VOD player to ITV player in a bid to give the service a welcomed boost.

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