BBC iPlayer Launches on BT Vision

UK incumbent telco, BT, has officially announced the launch of the BBC iPlayer on its BT Vision platform (note: the latter, which at last count had around 575,000 subscribers, combines the UK's free-to-air digital terrestrial service, Freeview, with an IPTV platform powered by Microsoft Mediaroom; it offers up to 50 TV and 20 radio channels from Freeview, complete with trick-play functionality; catch-up programming from UK terrestrial broadcasters; a range of on-demand movies, TV shows, children's programming, music videos and sports coverage; and access to Sky Sports 1 and 2, and ESPN). The launch means that BT Vision customers will be able to access around 400 hours of BBC catch-up TV programming (including such shows as "The Apprentice," "EastEnders" and "Top Gear") at any one time, in addition to around 1,000 hours of radio programming.

The new line-up of BBC iPlayer programming on BT Vision--all of which will be available free of charge--replaces a smaller selection of BBC programs that were previously available on BT Vision's TV Replay service. The latter service will continue to offer catch-up programming from ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. "The launch of BBC iPlayer on BT Vision adds to the enormous range of quality entertainment already available to our customers," Marc Watson, CEO of television and online services for BT Retail, said in a prepared statement. "We are really excited to be partnering with the BBC to bring BBC iPlayer to our customers."

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