The BBC may be preparing a dedicated BBC iPlayer service for the iPhone and iPod touch if the images accompanying a recent BBC monthly report are to be believed.
Rumours circulate after apparent BBC leak
While browsing the BBC iPlayer Data Pack, showcasing October's facts and figures for the catch-up TV service offered by the broadcaster, eagle-eyed Jordan Howell spotted two unusual graphics.
One shows Chris Moyles, BBC Radio 1 presenter, broadcasting live with a chance to 'Send Chris a message' while the second has a choice of TV programmes and a 'Live' option to watch BBC output. The mock-up also has a 'Downloads' option.
As tech site Neowin noted the iPhone seen in the image is connected to the internet via a Wi-Fi network.
It's worth noting that live streaming from a dedicated iPlayer application would require the iPhone or iPod touch user to have a valid TV licence.
The monthly summary report from the BBC can be downloaded as a Microsoft PowerPoint file directly from the BBC Internet blog. It shows Question Time, with an controversial apperance from Nick Griffin, chairman of the British National Party (BNP), topping iPlayer viewing figures in October.
Life, Russell Howard's Good News, Mock The Week and Never Mind The Buzzcocks also scored well with catch-up viewers.
In the blog posting the BBC's Head Of Audience Measurement Jo Hamilton announced plans to reveal more details of iPlayer usage.
"I'm pleased to be able to tell you that from today, the BBC is sharing iPlayer data in more detail than ever before. The numbers give new insights into how people use the service, who they are and which programmes are most popular. Data will be available for how many people watched via live simulcast versus on demand. And even how many people watch iPlayer on each platform - be it PC, mobile or games console."
[Via Jordan Howell]
Hamilton also revealed, not surprisingly perhaps, that the average iPlayer viewer is younger those who tune into traditional TV broadcasts.
"What the data shows is as many men as women use iPlayer, with the typical iPlayer user younger than the typical TV viewer or radio listener. As you might expect, the vast majority of people access it via computer, but mobile and games console usage is growing," Hamilton added.
Use of the iPlayer is measured on a BBC monthly survey of 700 UK adults. The demographic profile of iPlayer is slowly evening out in gender terms, but remaining strongly under-55.
The BBC notes, streams for computers are consistently dominating the type of content requested, across both TV and radio programmes. However iPhone requests, the number of successful requests to stream or download a programme, are consistently making up a noticeable proportion of TV requests (7 percent), as are PS3 requests (6 percent) since the relaunch of the iPlayer on PS3 in September.
The BBC only count successful requests, where a stream or a download actually start, rather than 'clicks' which can be repeated if the user does not see an immediate reaction on the website.
Last month, a new online service for the iPhone and iPod touch called TVcatchup.com was launched. It allows users to watch live television via QuickTime player and h.264 in Safari although channels from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, five etc lag behind live broadcasts by half a minute or so.
The company, independent of any broadcaster, also offers a desktop version that allows you to watch TV on your computer.