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iPlayer links up with ITV, Channel 4 and Five

iPlayer - now with added ITV
iPlayer - now with added ITV

The BBC has started integrating non-BBC channels into iPlayer, hoping that consumers will use the site as a landing page for other on-demand services.

Back in May it was announced that the iPlayer would begin to link to non-BBC channels and nine months later it has given birth to this 'sharing the link love' idea.

Now don't get your hopes up that you can now watch ITV content on the iPlayer, but you can search for on-demand ITV channels and they will appear on the iPlayer, with a link out to ITV Player.

Partner linking

This deep integration of non-BBC content is all part of 'partner linking' and ITV, Channel 4, Five, and S4C. There's also a new partner involved, in the form of MSN Player.

"We think BBC Online should serve as a hub to support other UK sites and want to double the traffic we send externally," said Paul Clarke from the BBC in a blog.

"Already the BBC News product is one of the top 5 sites driving referrals to UK newspapers, adding value to the UK online economy and our audiences: this partnership is a good example of how the BBC iPlayer can follow in those footsteps.

"Given the popularity of BBC iPlayer, we hope this feature will support fellow broadcasters and boost the overall uptake of video on demand."

It may turn the iPlayer into an all-encompassing on-demand site that Project Canvas wants to be through set-top boxes, but it's a start.