BBC

The BBC thinks its iPlayer service is “the best online television service in the world” – a platform so good that it’s the envy of Silicon Valley. So will Apple and Google be impressed by the platform’s latest redesign, unveiled in London on Tuesday?

This is a crucial time for the iPlayer: it will soon become the only home of BBC Three, the off-beat channel which is being taken off air to save costs. Tony Hall, the BBC’s director-general, wants the platform to be the “front door” to all the broadcaster’s content.

So what’s on offer in the new version? 

The BBC’s iPlayer is arguably the most successful effort by a broadcaster to embrace the internet age, so when the market leader talks about a next-generation version, the industry ought to sit up and take notice of what could become the future of TV. 

Last month Mark Thompson, the BBC’s director-general, pointed the finger at the Iranian authorities for allegedly intimidating employees at its Persian service.

Now the corporation’s chief is taking things a step further by accusing Iran of masterminding a “sophisticated cyber-attack” that involved jamming satellite feeds in an effort to wreak havoc with broadcasts into the country. 

Tech news from around the web:

Google is profiting from illegal advertisements on its search engine, even though it takes them down, alleged a report published on the BBC website on Tuesday. 

Tim Bradshaw

The BBC today unveils a new homepage, as one of the UK’s most popular websites begins a ground-up redesign. 

The BBC is making a fresh push to take its iPlayer service from the computer on to television screens in an attempt to widen the appeal of the online video service.

With a rising number of games consoles, set-top boxes and internet-ready televisions being plugged into broadband connections, the BBC believes that iPlayer viewing on television will overtake that on computers in the next few years.

 

Mark Thompson, BBC director general, talks to Ben Fenton, the FT’s chief media correspondent, about why we have over-estimated the speed of change in television consumption.  

Tim Bradshaw

The BBC announced on Monday that it would reduce its online budget by a quarter, resulting in more than 300 job losses.

As well as responding to ongoing pressure from commercial rivals, behind the cutbacks lies a longer-term strategy to bring greater coordination between technology and editorial to the BBC’s online output – something its director of future media and technology, Erik Huggers, wishes had happened sooner. 

Tim Bradshaw

YouView is finally open. The BBC-led internet-TV consortium, formerly known as Project Canvas, is open for business, open to all comers, and open-ended in its ambition.

That’s not a quote from Richard Halton, appointed chief executive of the joint venture on Thursday. It is the message that its new logo – as Project Canvas rebrands as YouView – is designed to send to viewers, content owners and developers. 

Richard Waters

At the FT’s digital media and broadcasting conference in London yesterday, it was pretty clear which players are in the driving seat as the British television world gets turned upside down.

The BBC, clearly, is one. As Andy Duncan, CEO of Channel 4, pointed out, the sharp contraction in TV advertising is about to tilt the market even more in favour of the Beeb, whose licence fee revenues will keep rising whatever the pain being felt elsewhere. The BBC’s £3.6bn this year will exceed the advertising base of the free-to-air broadcasters by £1bn, and according to Duncan could result in it eventually dominating TV as it does radio, where it owns 55 per cent of the audience.