Isn't it a little unfair that Xbox owners are denied BBC iPlayer on their consoles while Wii and PS3 owners have been enjoying it for months?
We think so, so we're kicking off a campaign to bring iPlayer to Xbox Live Silver.
Last year the Telegraph reported that BBC iPlayer on Xbox had been postponed indefinitely, with "sources close to the BBC's Future Media and Technology department" citing the reason as an incompatibility between Microsoft's desire to limit iPlayer access to users of the paid-for Xbox Live Gold Service and the BBC's public service remit.
Sounds easy enough to rectify – simply offer iPlayer to users of Xbox Live Silver, which is free to all Xbox users.
What do the BBC and Microsoft say?
TechRadar has also spoken to a source close to the iPlayer team, who cites a different, but equally bridgeable gap: that while both parties were enthusiastic to put iPlayer on the Xbox the timing was the issue. "Microsoft's road map was long, BBC wanted to move quickly," our source told us. "So they parted company."
The same source suggested that Microsoft's reasoning for not pushing ahead with the service is that Redmond didn't want to be seen to be following Sony and Nintendo (BBC iPlayer has been available for the Wii and PS3 for some time). "Hence, the Sky deal and things like Netflix (in the US - they were on Xbox first)." Again, if true, this doesn't need to be a deal breaker.
We contacted the BBC and Microsoft for comment and both companies were non-specific. A spokesperson for iPlayer told TechRadar: "BBC iPlayer is proving really popular on PS3 and Wii. We remain keen to bring the service to all games consoles and other connected devices favoured by our audiences; Xbox clearly falls into this category."
A Microsoft spokesperson was less forthcoming, simply stating: "We have not announced any news around BBC iPlayer."
Help the campaign!
Faced with these responses, we can see nothing stopping the BBC and Microsoft working together to bring iPlayer to Xbox Live Silver. Without it, consumers are missing out on an amazing service on a hugely popular console. And so today we're launching our campaign:
If you're an Xbox owner, and you want to see iPlayer, for free, on your console, then we need your help. Here's how you can join in:
- Visit our Facebook fan page, hit Like, add it to your page's favourites, and add your comments
- Tweet your support with the hashtag #getiplayeronxbox (let's get the hashtag trending!)
- Add the campaign Twibbon to your Twitter avatar
- Share the URL iplayeronxboxcampaign.com to link to this page
- Post your comments in the comments box below
- Tell your Xbox-owning friends about the campaign
- Grab the campaign logo above and display it on your blog, as your forum sig – wherever anyone will see it
Xbox owners deserve iPlayer – let's make it happen!