The BBC iPlayer has today gone live on Sky DVRs, bringing catch-up programming from the UK pubcaster to the territory’s pay-TV leader for the first time.
The BBC, along with fellow terrestrial ITV, signed a deal with Sky at the start of the year to distribute VoD via the satcaster’s Sky+ boxes.
The move puts the iPlayer on all major UK television platforms and ends the long-running stand-off between the BBC and Sky – the latter having initially refused to grant the pubcaster an own-branded VoD service.
With integration of iPlayer into the Sky EPG and Sky On Demand line-up, it gains a new footing in 6.7 million households with Sky+HD boxes and broadband connections.
The branded version of the ITV Player, which was yesterday updated to include micropayments for the first time, went live on Sky earlier in the year, as did Channel 5’s Demand Five. Channel 4 is the only outstanding terrestrial and its 4oD service will be added early next year.
“We continue to put Sky customers in control, with the addition of BBC iPlayer to Sky+ sitting alongside a range of innovations including remote record, series link and now even being able to use your iPad as a remote control,” said Sky director of TV products Luke Bradley-Jones, the former MD of Global iPlayer, who joined in January.
The iPlayer received over two billion programme requests in 2011 and almost 200 million last month alone. It’s available on over 650 platforms and devices across PC, mobile, tablet and internet-connected TVs, according to the BBC’s general manager of programmes and on-demand Daniel Danker.
“20% of all iPlayer use is already on the living room TV. By partnering with Sky, BBC iPlayer is available on all major UK TV platforms at no extra charge,” he said.