Skip to main content

BBC to offer iPlayer to Channel 4 and ITV?

iPlayer, ITV Player and C4iPlayer?
iPlayer, ITV Player and C4iPlayer?

The BBC is reportedly willing to offer out the technology behind its successful iPlayer to ITV and Channel 4, following the complaints against a collaboration between the broadcasters on Project Kangaroo.

The Guardian, quoting 'sources close to the corporation' has suggested that BBC is keen to leverage its online success in its commitments to working in partnership with other public service broadcasters.

The deal would see two of Britain's leading broadcasters offered not only iPlayer front ends, but also access to the BBC's high-speed digital post-production network which should, in theory, cut production costs on new programming.


The Complaints Commission upheld complaints about a joint project, called Kangaroo, between the broadcasters, agreeing that such a move would create a VOD service so powerful that it would limit competition.

But with Channel 4 facing a £150 million-per-annum funding gap, another option would be offering the broadcaster a stake in BBC Worldwide – potentially under an independent trust, although cash is still believed to be its preferred option.

Of course, if all three broadcasters did adopt the same online VOD technology then it would have benefits for the public – with a familiarity with the interface and the potential of quick movement between the different 'channels' online.

Interesting VOD times

VOD is becoming a hugely fascinating area within the UK internet realm. Sky has recently announced that it will allow online only subscriptions to its football and entertainment services – with movies expected to follow, and the iPlayer has changed people's perceptions of viewing online.

ITV rebranded its online presence as ITV Player last week - as it looks to evolve its VOD brand - and Channel 4 already has 4OD which is available online and through the likes of Virgin Media's cable service.