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BBC Sets iPlayer Syndication Terms, Commits To Roll-Outs For Certain Platforms

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The BBC’s plans to share the technology behind the iPlayer with fellow PSBs across the world may have been shot down this week, but it’s still planning to push its on-demand content to as many different third-party platforms as possible.

New guidelines issued on Tuesday say third-party deals must be cost-efficient, not have a negative effect on the wider market and help fulfill the Beeb’s public purposes. Read the full document here (pdf).

The iPlayer is available on 23 platforms, including 12 mobile phones, Sony’s PS3 and Virgin Media’s TV On Demand service, which accounts for a quarter of all iPlayer views.

Now BBC.co.uk COO Kerstin Mogull writes in a blog post: “We hope to add more platforms before the end of this year, but to deliver a high-quality user experience we sometimes need to adapt the product ourselves, and the huge variation of standards in the market makes this an expensive and complex process.”

The process means the BBC committing to build new iPlayer implementations, under certain provisos, for a range of devices and services…

The document says the BBC will consider “adjusting” the tech in this way for devices with more than 100,000 users, but will consider creating a “bespoke” version for devices with more than 500,000 users.

These rules set out the ground rules for future deals and signal that the Beeb is keen to sign more of them now its ambitious plans to export the iPlayer’s entire coding have hit a stumbling block.