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Sky Anytime+ to pipe BBC iPlayer

ITV also coming to catchup service

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Sky punters will be able to view BBC and ITV programmes in Sky's video-on-demand catchup service, Sky Anytime+, in a pact announced today.

ITV will open up its archive tomorrow and offer a seven-day catchup service later this year, via ITV Player. The BBC's archive is already available thanks to Sky's deal with UK TV, but Auntie will also offer a catchup service of the previous seven days of telly, via iPlayer, sometime this year.

iPlayer is deeply integrated into Virgin Media's service already, and is also available via BT Vision. Anytime+ is used by 1.2 million Sky households, and more should have the capability by the end of 2012.

The service removes the need for a TV recorder, although it lacks some of the conveniences offered by a Sky+ or a TiVO box. And it needs an internet connection – although Sky says it has dropped the requirement that this must be a Sky broadband connection.

Only ITV archive material, including Prime Suspect, Lewis and Cold Feet, is available from tomorrow - but later in the year, Sky Anytime+ customers should be able to get access to the previous seven days of BBC and ITV output.

Time-shifting is rapidly growing in popularity as people take advantage of the flexibility of the technology. Sky says Anytime+ viewing increased 80 per cent in the last three months of 2011. However linear television viewing has also increased, up 8 per cent in the past two years.

The BBC has insisted that the iPlayer branding should be part of any licensing deal - whereas Sky just wanted the shows. ®

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