The BBC on Thursday unveiled an Apple TV app version of its iPlayer streaming service, just days after a pair of developers created their own unofficial version.
"Available on over 10,000 devices, BBC iPlayer is one of the biggest and best on-demand video services in the world, and has transformed how U.K. audiences watch programmes online," said Tony Hall, director-general of the British Broadcasting Corp. "I am delighted that iPlayer will be coming to the new Apple TV in the coming months, helping to bring the BBC's distinctive and loved content to an even wider audience."
The news follows the launch of a third-party app called Auntie Player, developed in just nine hours, that developers Matt Cheetham and Phillip Caudell released on GitHub.
The BBC may have announced its own plans, but that doesn't mean Auntie Player is dead in the water. Cheetham told International Business Times the pair is looking at updating Auntie Player with several new features like IMDB integration, interactive elements within shows, and possibly a next episode auto-play, similar to Netflix.
"I'm happy that the BBC has decided to build something now, and it will be interesting to see if they just build something similar to what they already have on iOS or if they take it as an opportunity to whip together some new features," said Cheetham.
The BBC joins Sky in the list of British broadcasters providing apps for the $149 device. As recently as last month, the BBC was recommending new Apple TV buyers stream the existing iOS app to their new boxes, saying it had no plans for a tvOS app. The BBC's reversal will be a major win for Apple, who needs as many content providers as possible to make the product a viable choice for the living room.
The Apple TV goes on sale in the Apple Store on Friday, with Best Buy offering the device for in-store pickup from next Wednesday.