BBC iPlayer Increasing Popularity Of Online TVThe BBC iPlayer is the Web based television catch up service from the UK’s public broadcaster.

Since launching last year, and then getting a much needed relaunch over Christmas, the service has proved immensely popular, and taken Internet TV in to the mainstream in the UK.

A month ago, the BBC inked a deal with Apple which saw the iPhone and iPod Touch become the first mobile devices to support the service, and now Nintendo has done the same.

iPlayer on Wii

From today, every Wii owner based in the UK will have access to a version of the service and be able to watch most of the last seven days worth of BBC programming through their games consoles.

This signals the first time that the iPlayer will be available in people’s living rooms through anything but a PC, Mac or laptop, although a deal with Virgin Media to make the service available over Cable television is also said to be in the pipeline.

What is clear is the BBC’s commitment to the iPlayer, and getting the service rolled out to as many people as possible. However, the Wii seems a weird choice, being the least multimedia of the three main home consoles.

What about the PS3 and Xbox?

The Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 are certainly more geared up, and marketed as being entertainment hubs than the Wii, which Nintendo has aimed more at children, and non-gamers.

However, the Wii won out because deals with Sony and Microsoft reportedly fell through due to the companies making too many demands.

BBC iPlayer Web TV Launches On Nintendo Wii Console

Erik Huggers, the BBC’s head of Future Media and Technology explained:

“If you want to get [iPlayer] on the PlayStation or Xbox, they want control of the look, the feel and the experience; they want it done within their shop, and their shop only.”

However, that doesn’t mean the PS3 and Xbox 360 won’t get the iPlayer in the future. I’d assume that Sony and Microsoft will do all they can to accommodate the service, even if it means giving up some control.

BBC Pleased, ISPs Not

The BBC must be extremely pleased that their service is getting on to more and more devices, and consequently out to more viewers. However, the ISPs, who are already calling for the BBC to share in the cost of the extra bandwidth usage created by streaming TV, are sure to be annoyed even further by these announcements.

The BBC iPlayer is showing the way when it comes to broadcasters moving their content on to the Web. However, it’s success may well cause a fight over Broadband costs and what the future holds for ISPs.

Meanwhile, Wii owners should just enjoy the service, and the rare victory over their PS3 and Xbox owning friends.

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