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BBC Rejects Calls To Open iPlayer To ITV, Channel 4

In a decision that is likely to deject many broadcasters who were keen to tap into BBC’s iPlayer platform, the BBC Trust has apparently rejected a proposal from BBC to create an Open iPlayer federation which would have given other broadcasters access to its much vaunted video on demand platform.

The concept which was entitled as Project Marquee essentially involved Channel 4, Five and ITV and was aimed at distributing their content through the BBC iPlayer in what was termed as a "combination of commercial and public service elements".

Explaining the rationale behind rejecting the proposal, BBC Trustee Diane Coyle in a statement mentioned "We concluded, Open iPlayer plans in their proposed form, combining both commercial and public service elements, were too complicated. We were not convinced that there was enough potential value to licence fee payers in public service part of the proposal"

Even though the trust rejected the proposal on the grounds that it appeared too complex to work out in an effective manner, it did acknowledge the value that iPlayer offers and in principle agreed to the idea of sharing its technology with other broadcasters at a later date if they come across suitable alternate proposals that are fair and on a commercial basis.

Our Comments

So all it not lost it seems. The BBC Trust could potentially changed its mind at a later stage and allow its rival broadcasters to distribute content on the platform as well. Both Channel 4 and ITV have participated with BBC on other projects such as Freeview, Freesat and Canvas as well as the failed Kangaroo.

Related Links

BBC Trust rejects Open iPlayer project

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BBC iPlayer technology won't be licensed to ITV and Channel 4 just yet

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BBC Trust turns down iPlayer plan

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BBC Trust boots 'Open iPlayer' plans into touch

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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.