BBC iPlayer

The BBC Trust has today published the conclusions of its review of the BBC’s on-demand services, including the BBC iPlayer.

The review, conducted two years after the launch of on-demand services, found that the iPlayer has performed in line with its usage expectations, has effectively promoted ‘niche’ or less well-known programmes, appeals well to its target younger audiences, and represents good value for money.

The review also says future versions of the iPlayer should ensure audiences continue to be able to find a wide variety of content, and agreed with the BBC Executive that more could be done to promote the parental controls on the iPlayer.

BBC Trustee Diane Coyle said:

“The response to our public consultation was large, and overwhelmingly positive, which clearly showed the value placed by audiences on the choice and convenience offered by the iPlayer.

“Reach and appreciation levels are high, with a third of all UK adults claiming to have used the iPlayer.

“Looking ahead, the BBC needs to ensure that it continues to meet the expectations of audiences.”

The Trust has also today launched a consultation on the proposed changes to its on-demand syndication policy and the BBC Executive’s syndication guidelines, which will run for eight weeks.

Diane Coyle said:

“The BBC has a duty to consider carefully the impact of its activities on the wider industry. We hope to learn more about what audiences and the industry think about on-demand syndication in the forthcoming consultation.”


The BBC and Nintendo UK have unveiled a new version of the BBC iPlayer on Nintendo’s Wii. It was available through the console’s Internet Channel back in April 2008, but now, the iPlayer will be available as a dedicated Wii Channel.

The new Wii Channel is expected to be available from 12.01am on Wednesday 18 November.

Since BBC iPlayer first launched on the Nintendo Wii, there have been 900,000 requests for TV and radio programmes, and this new version of BBC iPlayer for Wii has been designed to deliver a better and higher quality experience, with a new full-screen user interface allowing the users to catch up on TV and radio, like one big happy family, together, in the lounge.

Erik Huggers, Director, BBC Future Media & Technology, said: “We’re pleased that we’ve been able to work with Nintendo to evolve BBC iPlayer on the Wii, providing a faster, high quality and improved viewing experience.

“It’s important that we offer audiences more ways to access the huge range of BBC content available, and this improved version of BBC iPlayer underlines our commitment to reaching new audiences by making BBC iPlayer available on as many platforms as possible.”

David Yarnton, General Manager, Nintendo UK, added: “Our partnership with the BBC is another way in which Nintendo is looking to broaden the market for its products by offering compelling and relevant content to families.

“BBC iPlayer offers Wii owners another reason to turn their console on everyday and adds to the already established non-gaming content on Wii that includes Wii Channels for news, weather forecasts and an internet browser.”

To use the new BBC iPlayer on Nintendo’s Wii, Wii users should download the BBC iPlayer Wii Channel from the menu screen of Wii Shop Channel.

Once downloaded, users simply click on the BBC iPlayer icon to launch the new full screen service, then select and play their favourite BBC TV or radio programme that they want to watch.

Sorry about the lack of jokes in that.

The BBC iPlayer has been one of the most important developments in the recent history of TV. It works well, enables you to never miss anything (provided, of course, you have an internet connection… and you have, or you wouldn’t be reading these words) without forking out for a PVR.

However, being slightly selfish for a moment, one feels that it could still do more. Channel 4’s 4oD has entire series of classic comedies of yesteryear, opening the door for the BBC to really make the most of its archives.

Well, the latest Beeb idea could well see the ball starting to roll. You see, Auntie is considering a permanent online portal to house full-length documentaries as part of its plan to revolutionise how it uses its archive.

The BBC director of archive content, Roly Keating, is looking to get Storyville and Arena online and archived as prototype. Should it work, it is surely only a matter of time before they start putting the fun stuff up.

That’s not all the BBC are planning. They’re looking to make an online tool that will house all the Natural History Unit’s archive recordings of every major animal species. The site will host a page for every creature the BBC has ever made a show about, aggregating archive clips of the animals in their natural habitat, recordings of the noises they make, and news stories about them from different shows.

How great is that?!

The BBC certainly know how to make a good documentary and with the recent archiving of Tomorrow’s World shows, it’s certainly seems that iPlayer is going to get better and better as time goes on. I can’t wait!

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1