We were wondering why it was taking so long for the BBC to get iPlayer on the Xbox 360 -- given its video credentials, it seemed like the logical home for such a service. A report in the Telegraph, however, reveals the reason is simple. Sources at the BBC say Auntie won't allow the licence-fee funded iPlayer to be part of a 'pay' package, and Microsoft won't give streaming video away to customers who don't have one of its paid-for Xbox Live 'Gold' accounts.
It's a classic eye-narrowing, pistol-finger twitching stalemate. We can't see either party changing its mind any time soon. Microsoft is keen to drive customers to its Gold service, which costs around £5 per month, or £40 per year if bought in advance. The BBC, on the other hand, is keen to push iPlayer out to as many platforms as possible. Both the PS3 and the Wii can access the service for free.
So, what does this mean for the Xbox-owning public? Fail, that's what. After all, we paid for our consoles, and we pay for our licence fee, so why shouldn't we have access to iPlayer? We can see both sides of the argument, and to some extent both are valid. But in this instance, we think Microsoft should relent and cut Britain a break. After all, streaming iPlayer won't actually cost it anything, as the data is handled by the ISPs and the BBC.