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Virgin Media Adds BBC iPlayer To User Services

BBC's iPlayer video on demand service has scored another winner by joining Virgin Media and fast becoming a massive player in the VoD market less than one year after it was launched.

iPlayer will be available as a separate entity on Virgin's own Catch-up TV service through its electronic programming guide to its 3.5 million TV customers for free.

More than 350 hours of BBC programmes will be available, bringing the total available hours of programming on Virgin Media to nearly 5000 hours.

Virgin Users will also be the first ones to be able to watch iPlayer straight on TV without having to download the content first; the content provider is expected to gradually remove its own BBC content which was available on its Catch-up TV service to avoid duplication.

Virgin's own number show that nearly half of its TV customers are regularly using its video on demand service with the average number of views increasing substantially.

A more competitive set top box based Video on Demand service will help Virgin Media alleviate traffic problems caused by VoD users flocking to online BBC iPlayer during peak times.

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.