Sky Player Over Broadband; iPlayer Growth Slowing?

BSkyB’s (NYSE: BSY) dilemma is this – how does it transition to a VoD world when its satellite infrastructure is unable to cope with the demands of on-demand? It started offering VoD to PC and mobile in 2006 via its Sky Anytime brand, but the channel to the all-important LCD in the living room has so far been clumsy – the broadcaster pushes its own “pick of the week’s TV” to viewers’ boxes overnight. Now customer group MD Brian Sullivan tells BSkyB will begin to use internet-enabled set-top boxes to deliver VoD via a wire for the first time, starting next year.

Meanwhile, BT’s (NYSE: BT) small Sheffield ISP PlusNet – which in February said BBC iPlayer had tripled its bandwidth costs since its introduction on Christmas Day – says the growth is slowing. Whilst customers in February streamed 25 percent more traffic than January, that slowed to 6.61 percent in March over February and to 3.19 percent in April over March. The BBC recently said iPlayer got 17.2 million streams and downloads in March and was growing 25 percent month-on-month. For PlusNet iPlayer’s growth has meant the web’s share of overall traffic has dipped by 5.3 percent to 64.7 percent. Still, at least the ISP gets a break when Doctor Who fans go offline every Saturday night.