Xbox 360 iPlayer launch delayed indefinitely

Microsoft and the BBC have hit a ‘stumbling block’ in negotiations to bring the iPlayer service to the Xbox 360. Microsoft’s strategy of charging for online content is in direct contrast with the BBC’s public service remit, which means the media corporation can’t charge British license payers for using iPlayer.

A source at BBC’s Future Media and Technology department said: “Microsoft only wants to offer its users access to platforms it can charge for as this is the model it is pursuing. It wants to ensure that only those paying for Xbox Live Gold accounts can access its additional content services and even then there is usually a charge on top to get access to those. For example, to access the Sky Player on Xbox, you have to pay for a Gold subscription as well as a Sky subscription.

“This does not fit with the BBC’s model and Microsoft will not budge at the moment. It is really frustrating for those involved on the BBC side who want to make sure iPlayer is rolled out on as many popular entertainment platforms as possible.”

iPlayer has already launched on the Wii and the PlayStation 3, neither of which charge for access to online content. Microsoft have so far declined to comment on the hitch in negotiations.