After three years of negotiations, the BBC has finally struck a deal with Microsoft and will be streaming its iPlayer service on Xbox 360 devices in the U.K.
The new partnership is a part of the iPlayer's shift from PC to Television. In 2011 we saw huge growth for BBC iPlayer on connected TVs - either through smart TVs, operator platforms or hooking up games consoles, said Dave Price, the head of BBC's iPlayer.
In 2011, the iPlayer was viewed 433 million times on TV devices and it is expected that by 2012 more than 50 percent of requests will be via the television.
We know the majority of games consoles are in the living room and connected to the TV... with the launch of BBC iPlayer on Xbox, we're excited to be unlocking a new audience... I can tell you the fight is already happening in my home for control of the Xbox! And my wife has never been interested in Call of Duty, Price wrote in a blog on the BBC.
The Xbox already carries content from Channel 4, Channel 5. Netflix, Love Film and Sky and the iPlayer will take this live platform to the next level, according to Stephen McGill, director of Xbox and entertainment for Microsoft.
The BBC iPlayer for the Xbox has improved search results, personalization tools, parental locks and HD options, PCmag.com reports. Xbox owners who have Kinect will be able to control the iPlayer with voice demands and gestures.
Despite having the same name, the international version of the iPlayer works differently to that in the U.K. The national iPlayer in the U.K is ultimately a catch-up service for those who want to stream shows they miss on the BBC's television channels. For their international audience, the BBC offers a commercial service where people can pay to watch selected programs from the BBC archive.
This platform extension shows how Global iPlayer isn't just about moving TV to tablet devices, it's also about a mobile strategy - about truly getting TV everywhere in a way that it hasn't been before, Jana Bennet, President of Global BBC iPlayer told the Digital Summit in London on Dec.10.
We also want the global BBC iPlayer to be truly representative of the whole gamut of British creative output, to represent everything that is great about British content - not just the Best of British TV but the Best of British Culture, she added.
The Global BBC iPlayer will also feature programs from other channels such as Channel in an aim to expand their Best of British TV output, Informitv.com reported.
There have been record figures for BBC iPlayer on mobile with 1.5 million installs on the Apple iPad and 1.2 million installs on Android devices since they launched the apps in February 2011, the BBC reported on their Internet blog.
In October 2011 alone 16.5 million programs were watched on mobile devices and tablets, up by 129% from this time last year.