The BBC and Sky may represent polar, warring opposites of the broadcasting business, but that doesn't mean their technology platforms can't get along. Following a promise made all the way back in January, internet-connected Sky+HD boxes will be able to access BBC iPlayer from today. The service has been integrated into Sky's world-class program guide, with users even able to plump to catch available shows in high definition. The announcement also let slip that 4OD, the last remaining holdout to the service, will be added in early 2013. If you've yet to hook your Sky box up to the internet, you just need an Ethernet cable or wireless adapter -- but let's hope for your sake they aren't at opposite ends of your house.
BBC iPlayer comes to Sky+
Millions of Sky homes can access their favourite BBC shows, on-demand, directly on their TV
BBC iPlayer, the BBC's video on demand service, has today launched on Sky+, bringing the best of the BBC's TV programmes directly to the living room. Up to 6.7 million homes with a Sky+HD box and broadband connection will be able to enjoy the best of the BBC on demand in a familiar, easy to use BBC iPlayer experience that helps audiences catch up on programmes they have missed.
Audiences can access BBC iPlayer directly from Sky's on demand programme guide, and choose from many of the BBC's most popular shows, including Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing and EastEnders. BBC iPlayer is available alongside catch-up TV from Sky, ITV, Channel 5, with Channel 4's 4oD due to be added early next year, completing the line-up of free-to-air terrestrial catch-up TV services on Sky+. Sky On Demand also offers on demand access to shows from a number of other leading channels including UKTV, MTV and Discovery, in addition to movies on demand and drama 'box-sets' such as Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men and Stella.
BBC iPlayer has been integrated into Sky's existing electronic programme guide and on demand menus. It contains a number of features that make it even easier for Sky customers to find the BBC programmes they want, with content separated into a series of simple categories. Viewers are able to browse through content by channel, day and genre, and can gain easy access to BBC shows in high-definition. Regional and signed programmes are also available through dedicated categories. Once a customer has made their choice, the programme is downloaded directly to their Sky+ planner for them to watch at a time that suits them.
This landmark deal between the BBC and Sky builds on a substantial history of industry partnerships for BBC iPlayer, which is now available on over 650 platforms and devices.
In September 2012 alone, BBC iPlayer saw nearly 200 million requests for programmes, including 2.2 million for Doctor Who, 1 million for Citizen Khan and hundreds of thousands for favourites such as Strictly Come Dancing, EastEnders and Bad Education. By launching on Sky+, BBC iPlayer is now available on every major UK television platform, at no extra charge, and brings the service to up to 6.7 million Sky homes.
Luke Bradley-Jones, Director of TV Products, Sky said "We're delighted to have partnered with the BBC to bring the best of the BBC on demand to Sky customers. Providing customers with the flexibility to enjoy their favourite TV on demand, our comprehensive catch-up TV service perfectly complements the genius of Sky+, which already helps millions of our customers take charge of their viewing. We continue to put Sky customers in control, with the addition of BBC iPlayer to Sky+ sitting alongside a range of innovations including remote record, series link and now even being able to use your iPad as a remote control."
Daniel Danker, General Manager, BBC Programmes and On-Demand, said "BBC iPlayer has had a record-breaking year, with 2 billion requests for programmes in 2011, and nearly 200 million requests in September 2012 alone. Available on over 650 platforms and devices across PC, mobile, tablet and internet-connected TVs, we are delighted that iPlayer is now also available to millions of Sky+ homes. 20% of all iPlayer use is already on the living room TV. By partnering with Sky, BBC iPlayer is available on all major UK TV platforms at no extra charge, making sure our audiences can access the best of the BBC's content at home and on the go, whenever and wherever they choose."
To enjoy Catch Up, Sky customers simply need to activate their On Demand service and connect their Sky+HD box to their broadband router. Click here for more information.