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Virgin accounts for a third of iPlayer viewings

BBC backs on-demand TV partnership

The BBC's move to allow Virgin Media customers to access its iPlayer service via their TVs is already paying dividends, with Virgin subscribers watching 10.5 million on-demand BBC shows in June.

Around 350 hours of BBC content was added to Virgin's TV listings on June 1, and the cable TV service managed to account for half as many iPlayer viewings as the BBC's website over the month.

iPlayer, which launched at the end of last year, achieved 1.5 million users per week during June, and managed 20.4 million requests over the course of the month.

"The initial success on Virgin Media underlines the multiplatform appeal of the BBC iPlayer proposition," said Rahul Chakkara, the BBC controller, TV platforms, in an interview with the Guardian.

The BBC is continuing the develop iPlayer, with a new system in the works that could allow users to pre-book shows they want to watch a week before they're broadcast.

The new queuing system will be set up in such a way as to minimise the load on the network, with shows set to download at an "optimum time for the user, the UK internet and the BBC", according to the BBC.

The pre-booking feature is only in the planning stage. Proposals to put the plan into effect have been put to the BBC Trust, which must give its permission for the feature to be introduced.

See also:

BBC iPlayer review

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