Feeds

BBC defends iPlayer against Murdoch Jr's 'anti-competitive' claims

Kitchenware blackness symposium to follow

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The BBC Trust, Auntie's independent oversight body, has today defended the iPlayer against claims by James Murdoch that it squashes competition and innovation in online TV.

Murdoch, who's currently chief executive of News Corp in Europe and Asia, and is now reckoned as the Digger-sprog to most likely to inherit control of daddy's worldwide media empire, criticised the BBC's on-demand service at the Marketing Society's annual lecture last night. He called iPlayer a "big step, a pre-emptive intervention in a marketplace otherwise hugely competitive and moving very fast".

Sky is not a member of Project Kangaroo, the BBC Worldwide-led commercial version of iPlayer that's also backed by Channel 4 and ITV.

In a statement, the BBC Trust replied today: "The BBC Trust subjected the BBC iPlayer to a rigorous Public Value Test that included a Market Impact Assessment carried out by Ofcom."

Murdoch argued that oversight of the iPlayer's impact on commercial TV competitors had been poor. "I'm not saying it is a bad product, but I am saying it does crowd out competition and innovation. But we have it now, so there you are," he said.

The iPlayer is straining ISP business models and challenging relatively weak online TV efforts from commercial rivals, after a rethink last year switched the project's emphasis from peer-to-peer downloads to high quality streaming.

The BBC's governing body said: "The trust imposed a number of conditions on the iPlayer to take account of market impact issues, consultation responses from the industry, and responses from over 10,000 licence fee payers before final approval was given."

James Murdoch is also chairman of BSkyB, which has its own internet TV offering. Sky Anytime is based on the same unwieldy desktop application-run peer-to-peer technology that threatened to sink the iPlayer before the decision to launch a streaming version was made.

Open source advocates also complained about the oversight of iPlayer last year, however. They said the Microsoft-only download iPlayer represented an illegal government interference in a market that Ofcom and the trust had not considered. As it turned out though, the peer-to-peer version has become a crippled curio in the face of the massively popular streaming service. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.