BBC iPlayer Out-Linking Is More Difficult Than First Thought

It’s eight months since the BBC said it would link from out its iPlayer to commercial counterparts’ own TV catch-up sites. But it still hasn’t happened yet.

The reason: it’s proved harder than Auntie expected…

Unveiling an iPlayer upgrade in May, outgoing product chief Anthony Rose said iPlayer could, in its listings, display listings from VOD services like *ITV* Player, 4oD, S4/Clic, Demand Five and SeeSaw. It would link out to those destinations, rather than host their videos. But today, only BBC material is visible on iPlayer still

This has taken longer than anticipated, as it is the first time such a large project has been undertaken and is extremely complex,” a spokesperson tells paidContent:UK.

The project involves ingesting metadata describing programmes hosted on multiple external services, and displaying that neatly in a service that was built only for BBC viewers.

Although the project hasn’t yet borne fruit, the BBC does have the partner broadcaster agreements in place, it says. S4C and the BBC specified the idea in new terms signed between the two this week.

The programme is likely to mean a big traffic boost to the commercial services, which have been growing in popularity all by themselves are trying to sell ads against their videos. After all, iPlayer is the UK’s most popular online TV VOD brand.

But there’s no indication when it will come about.