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Sky Merges BBC iPlayer With Its Own Online VoD Service

BSkyB has added BBC's iPlayer to its own video on demand service called Sky Player in a bid to offer more content (and hopefully attract even more users).

Sky Player is available online (opens in new tab) and allows you to watch TV online without any Sky TV subscription required. And as a testament to BBC's programme quality, Sky promoted BBC above its own content which means that the full content of iPlayer - more than 400 hours of TV programmes per week - will be available to Sky customers.

The deal also cements iPlayer's hegemony on the burgeoning online video on demand market and comes a few days after Erik Huggers, BBC's director of future media & technology, said that the Beeb would encourage the creation of an open industry IPTV platform called Canvas.

This comes a few months after Virgin Media and leaves Tiscali as the only internet service provider without any iPlayer video on demand. BT Vision is charging £36 per annum for its VoD service and offers both iPlayer and 4oD.

Funny though how a few months can change a company's strategy. Back in April, James Murdoch, BSkyB's supremo, openly criticised BBC's iPlayer for distorting the competitive landscape as it attracted more than £131 million.

Griff Parry, the director of on-demand at BSkyB, suggested that "The addition of links to content from BBC channels further demonstrates Sky's role as a leading online aggregator with access to one of the broadest selections of online video."

However, (opens in new tab) highlights the only (and most disheartening) catch in the offer. It is only available online.

Désiré Athow

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 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.