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