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New BBC iPlayer Hints At Grander Future

One of the most important aspects of the new BBC iPlayer interface, which was demonstrated yesterday by Erik Huggers, the man in charge of future media and technology at the Beeb, is its ability to deliver content from some of its competitors.

Like Google, delivering search results for archrivals Microsoft and Apple, the BBC's SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) will now include links to a number of external websites such as ITV, C4 and Five.

Oddly, Sky's offerings have been left out as have the programmes from BBC's Joint Venture with Virgin Media (Bravo, Dave etc). BSkyB has already lashed out at the new iPlayer saying that it was not supposed to act as an online aggregator or third-party content provider.

In fact, the new iPlayer is starting to look like the old Project Kangaroo which was shot down by the competitions commission last year and whose assets were purchased by Arqiva, the company behind Seesaw, which is also a partner of the new iPlayer.

What's even more perplexing is that all of BBC's content partners on Project Canvas, which aims at building something similar to an open platform (think Freeview for Broadband), will also be part of the new iPlayer.

Now to think that the iPlayer is going to heavily influence the strategy at Project Canvas is not far fetched at all given that the man in charge of the iPlayer project at the BBC, Anthony Rose, will be leaving to become CTO at ..... Project Canvas.

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.