BBC announces iPlayer, News and Sport apps for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry

Erik Huggers, BBC Future Media and Technology Group Controller, took the stage today at Mobile World Congress 2010 to announce two new BBC applications for the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry platforms.

The BBC announced a News application and Sports applications that will both be available shortly, the News app in April and Sports in June before the World Cup. Both applications will feature rich content including video content which will include live sports games streamed to the devices.

Huggers also hinted at an iPlayer application for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices. 

In November 2009, the BBC posted a monthly press pack which included a photo of the iPhone application. The BBC claimed the images were of old and "should not be taken to mean that anything is likely to happen soon."

BBC Sport application key features:

  • Live text commentary with distinct BBC voice
  • Listen live to Radio 5 Live commentary

  • Receive up-to-the-minute scores and league information

  • Participation: integration with 606, and the BBC sport blogs

  • User-generated content, submission of comments via SMS

  • Video and audio content: integration with Radio 5 Live, plus video clips (subject to rights availability)

  • Personalisation: selection of your teams and clubs

BBC News application key features:

  •  

    Breaking news, updated throughout the day
  •  

    Personalisation, the ability to create a personal news experience

  •  

    User-generated content, the ability to send comments and pictures direct to the newsroom

  •  

    Blogs, analysis and commentary with the distinct BBC voice

  •  

    Video and audio content from the BBC News channel and other BBC sources

     

BBC iPlayer application key features:

  •  

     

    Live TV and radio
  •  

     

    Improved user experience: enhanced interface using the latest app gestures and transitions

  •  

     

    New personalisation features

     

     

Photo Credit: Rory Cellan-Jones

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59 Comments

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Why is it that every time the topic of BBC streams comes up everyone gets all personal about UK vs. USA. This isn't a UK vs. USA thing. It's just something the rest of the world would love access too. No one is demanding it or saying that BBC is obligated to distribute to the rest of the world. People are just expressing their interest and disappointment that it isn't available outside of UK.

...and all us UK Citizens are saying is that WE fund the BBC so why should they show content to people around the world who don't!?

bbfc_uk said,
...and all us UK Citizens are saying is that WE fund the BBC so why should they show content to people around the world who don't!?

Reread me post.. I will quote:
"No one is demanding it or saying that BBC is obligated to distribute to the rest of the world."

Really, some people here should do just a little more research before posting.

A different version of the apps will be offered to international audiences, supported by advertising.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8519783.stm

... which is hardly surprising, really, is it? I mean, why would the Beeb lock-out a massive percentage of potential users and revenue?

Well, that certainly goes against everything they've done in the past with iPlayer. More than likely though, they are only talking about the news and sports apps, not iPlayer.

Examinus said,
OK, so was an iPlayer app announced or not?

Nope, they hinted at it's existance, which is hardly new news, I have **SEEN** the iPlayer app for myself - and quite a while ago too - but they have yet to announce it officially.

MillionVoltss said,
iplayer works on iphone already, on the website and its formatted for the phone.

Yep, only in UK though.

acnpt said,
^^ I think you can get Radio 1 on sat radio, but they timeshift it.

Are you referring to the states? If so, the answer is yes. You can get BBC Radio1 via XM Radio but like you said it is timeshifted so the timing doesn't work as well as live. I am also not interested in paying for XM Radio just for one station that I only really listen to one day out of the week (Friday).

In the states we can listen to lower bitrate AAC streams on the iPlayer webpage. Why can't we get this same stream on the iPhone in the states? Why are we allowed to listen to the radio on the webpage but not on our iPhone? I listen to Radio1 every Friday religiously. I start listening while at work and would love to take it to the car but I have yet to find a clean solution. The best solution I have come up with so far is using a PC at the house to transcode the stream using a virtual sound card driver and then connect to this stream using the FStream app for the iPhone. But this is a pain in the but. Changing the default sound device, then browsing to the webpage and then starting up a program to transcode and stream it back out. I guess I could try to automate the setup process one day. Or maybe BBC will be nice and give us access to the same low bitrate streams we already have access to.

simple answer really, you dont get the same service as we do in the uk because you dont pay to fund it, we do :)

Fubar said,
simple answer really, you dont get the same service as we do in the uk because you dont pay to fund it, we do :)

I'm sure there are quite a few people in countries outside the UK who would gladly pay a fee to be able to access iPlayer. Unfortunately the ignorant people who control the BBC don't make it an option.

Fubar said,
simple answer really, you dont get the same service as we do in the uk because you dont pay to fund it, we do :)

You missed my point. We ALREADY get these streams in the US. Why would they block them from streaming to the iPhone. If it was simply licencing then why would they let us stream via the webpage? It's just silly.

But like roadwarrior said, some of would gladly pay for this service.

This is really good news. The Sport app looks like it'll be the best one available on the App Store and the news and iPlayer sound promising as well.

lecter said,
Well, in this case it's something no one residing outside the British Isles can get...

so they shouldnt report the news story then because only the uk can use it??

Fubar said,

so they shouldnt report the news story then because only the uk can use it??

iPlayer gets far more news coverage than it deserves, considering that less than 1% of the world's population is able to make use of it.

roadwarrior said,

iPlayer gets far more news coverage than it deserves, considering that less than 1% of the world's population is able to make use of it.


Yet you post in a thread about it, amazing...

Fubar said,

Yet you post in a thread about it, amazing...

If you read my reply to you two comments down from here, you'd see that I'd actually like to have access to it, but unfortunately the BBC doesn't want my money, or the money from anyone else outside of the UK.

necrosis said,
And we care about this because? I doubt iPlayer app will work in the US.

Yeah because all of neowin's readers are based in the US and no one from the UK ever ever visits this website.

necrosis said,
And we care about this because? I doubt iPlayer app will work in the US.

Hi America,

We out-number you.

Sincerely,
The rest of the world

necrosis said,
And we care about this because? I doubt iPlayer app will work in the US.

Heavens forbid neowin reporting on something that Americans cant get.

Kudos said,

Hi America,

We out-number you.

Sincerely,
The rest of the world

Uhh, you might want to change that to :

Hi UK (home of the BBC and iPlayer),

We out-number you.

Sincerely,
The residents of Texas, California, and New York

Fubar said,

Heavens forbid neowin reporting on something that Americans cant get.


It's not just Americans that can't use iPlayer, the whole world outside the UK (in other words, 99%+ of the world's population) can't use it.

roadwarrior said,

It's not just Americans that can't use iPlayer, the whole world outside the UK (in other words, 99%+ of the world's population) can't use it.

Yeah, because all other services Neowin has mentioned (e.g. Hulu) are available to everyone.

Edited by M2Ys4U, Feb 17 2010, 7:25pm :

necrosis said,
And we care about this because? I doubt iPlayer app will work in the US.

Because a large portion of the Neowin user base is from the UK.

thealexweb said,

Because a large portion of the Neowin user base is from the UK.

I'd wager that a much larger portion is from the US, India, or any of the other countries in the 99% of the world that can't access iPlayer.

roadwarrior said,

I'd wager that a much larger portion is from the US, India, or any of the other countries in the 99% of the world that can't access iPlayer.

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/neowin.net#demographics

6.7% is not an insignificant number. I'd wager that real stats would bring that number much closer to 10%.

necrosis said,
Heh. There is already an app on the store called iPlayer.
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iplayer/id350560872?mt=8

can you have 2 apps called the same thing?...or are the BBC gonna have to change the name.

no webOS either :(...tho hopefully the 1.4 update with flash will let us use the iplayer website.

necrosis said,
Heh. There is already an app on the store called iPlayer.
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iplayer/id350560872?mt=8
I strongly suspect that one is going to have to be renamed.

philcruicks said,

can you have 2 apps called the same thing?...or are the BBC gonna have to change the name.

no webOS either :(...tho hopefully the 1.4 update with flash will let us use the iplayer website.

BBC is probably thinking it's a waste of time supporting an OS with tiny market share.

A news app for Java based phones would be nice.. but I doubt that's at the top of their priorities. Opera can make a decent mobile browser for a java phone so the BBC could work with them :/

neo158 said,

I doubt it, due to licensing issues.

TV licensing is only in the UK, BBC should be more open to the world. I never see something like TV licensing here in the US... The UK is even worse ripping their citizen's money with bull**** taxes and licensing.

@ Cabron

Ok then we shall let you pay for Fox, ABC networks etc... then just give the content to everyone else for free. Your VOD service Hulu does not do it so why is the BBC expected to?

The quality of TV in the UK is far better than USA or Canada and I believe the licence fee is some way responsible for this, if paying that meens it does not end up like USA tv then it's money well spent.

cabron said,
TV licensing is only in the UK, BBC should be more open to the world. I never see something like TV licensing here in the US... The UK is even worse ripping their citizen's money with bull**** taxes and licensing.

Enjoy your 20 minutes of advertising per hour. We get maybe 3 minutes of adverts as filler on BBC, and they're all adverts for BBC shows, not products. Shows that the viewers of a current program may be interested in. The reason you never see TV Licensing in the US is because the networks make too much money from advertisements, product placement, "sponsorships" etc.

Maybe you should think before you write, cabron?

Don't forget the advertisments they have in show too.

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[5 Min Later]
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