With the recent expansion of the BBC’s iPlayer expanding on to the Playstation Network, the BBC has reached into the gaming market to bring their news to those would otherwise be playing Call of Duty or just generally being apathetic. Toted as a fantastic news application by many as great tool for those who otherwise would likely not be getting any news, the iPlayer will unfortunately not be available for download via Xbox Live anytime soon. Speaking to Tech Radar, the BBC’s Daniel Danker explained why:
We want to be on as many devices as possible. Of course we’d love to be on the Xbox because we want to get the iPlayer to as many licence payers as possible, which is pretty much everyone in the UK.Microsoft has not commented on Danker’s statement, but I can definitely see the BBC’s side here. If the BBC were to allow the iPlayer to play only on Xbox Live Gold, which requires a yearly or monthly subscription requirement, Microsoft would essentially be making money off the BBC. Not that the BBC is a paragon of integrity either, but its definitely not trying to capitalize directly off Microsoft.
We want to be on the cheapest level that you can have on Xbox, and not only for [Xbox Live] Gold subscribers.
Realistically, nobody is actually going to subscribe to Xbox Live solely for the ability to use the BBC’s iPlayer, but there is the possibility that its inclusion in the system free of charge will sell a few consoles. This here is just another classic example of Microsoft trying to capitalize on something that they have no business making money on. An agreement has not yet been reached between BBC and Microsoft, but check back for updates if any changes occur.