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BBC To Postpone Launch of Xbox 360 iPlayer

BBC and Microsoft have apparently fallen out over the latter's wish to make the iPlayer feature available only for the Gold subscribers member of Xbox Live, something that the BBC says wouldn't be allowed.

Emma Barnett from The Telegraph says that the BBC's Future Media and Technology department has already warned Microsoft that only allowing the paid fraction of its members to have access to iPlayer content is "incompatible with the BBC’s public service remit."

Sources within the BBC have also confirmed that Microsoft does not want to change its position which means that the corporation was left with no other choice than to postpone the launch of the Xbox 360 until a compromise is found.

A spokesperson for Auntie said that “This does not fit with the BBC’s model and Microsoft will not budge at the moment. It is really frustrating for those involved on the BBC side who want to make sure iPlayer is rolled out on as many popular entertainment platforms as possible.”

The BBC argues that users are already paying for BBC content through the compulsory TV Licence fee. The PS3 and the Wii - amongst other platforms - are already running customised versions of the iPlayer video on demand service.

Microsoft has added more features to its gaming console - like access to Facebook and other social networking website - to gradually morph the Xbox 360 into a more multi-faceted media platform.

Our Comments

One of the other will need to make a big concession and step down. As it stands, the BBC has the upper hand since it is Microsoft which will be at a disadvantage as its rivals will be offering BBC content for free.

Related Links

Xbox BBC iPlayer Delayed (opens in new tab)


Xbox 360 iPlayer launch delayed indefinitely (opens in new tab)


BBC iPlayer for 360 indefinitely postponed due to disagreement with Microsoft (opens in new tab)

(Business Standard)

BBC and Microsoft Fall Out over iPlayer (opens in new tab)


BBC iPlayer for Xbox 360 delayed over cost row (opens in new tab)


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.