Microsoft has been trying to gain access to BBC’s fantastically popular iPlayer service for quite a while, but word has come out that the BBC has blocked the company from making it available.
Managing to boast support for the BBC iPlayer would be a major feather in Microsoft’s cap, but for now it seems as though Xbox users are to remain out in the cold when it comes to the web-based video service. The BBC’s refusal to allow the service to hit Microsoft’s Xbox 360 seems, according to The Telegraph, to be wrapped up in the way that Microsoft charges for Xbox Live Gold memberships, which would likely be required to view the service. According to the Telegraph, the BBC explained the whole thing in fairly certain terms, saying,
“Microsoft only wants to offer its users access to platforms it can charge for as this is the model it is pursuing. It wants to ensure that only those paying for Xbox Live Gold accounts can access its additional content services and even then there is usually a charge on top to get access to those.”
While all of this means relatively little to those of us in Ireland, with ways to use BBC’s iPlayer having been fairly quickly locked down, it’s still a fairly interesting point in the Xbox 360’s development.
It’s well worth pointing out that both Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii boast their own iPlayer offerings for free. The BBC has been more than happy to provide access to its content on the basis that users aren’t being charged to access that content… if we take this news in the light of Microsoft’s offer of free Xbox Live Gold membership for European users during the week, rumours that the service is being tested to see just how well a free service could be provided start to look a little more plausible.
For now, there’s no way to know, and it could well all be just wishful thinking, but that’s life.