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BBC gets Virgin Media on iPlayer TV Platform bandwagon

After the Nintendo Wii and the iPhone, BBC has bagged yet another partner for its popular iPlayer Video on Demand platform; Virgin Media has agreed to distribute the service to its 3.5 million customers for free.

It will be the first time that the iPlayer, which started life as an Internet only service, is rolled out on a TV platform

Virgin Media customers using the BBC iPlayer will be able to watch movies without the need to download them as it is currently the case for the other iPlayer platforms.

Virgin already has a catch up service which allows users to watch movies and programmes from the last seven days and recent surveys shows that nearly half of Virgin Media customers use it regularly with almost 100 million views alone in the last three months of 2007.

One reason why Virgin could have struck the deal is to remove the burden of distributing the iPlayer through its broadband service; instead, the iPlayer traffic will be shouldered by its Video on Demand platform.

Virgin could possibly house the Kangaroo Video on Demand service which will come later this year on the same platform.

Earlier this month, Virgin Media CEO, Neil Berkett, lambasted the Net Neutrality concept and appeared to be at loggerheads with content providers like BBC.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.