The BBC is to recommend programmes made by rival broadcasters on its iPlayer site for the first time, it was announced today. ITV, Channel 4, Channel Five and several others have already signed up to be partners, although the BBC said Sky would not initially be taking part.
In a major overhaul of the popular site the BBC will also allow people to recommend programmes to friends via Facebook and Twitter. It was also revealed that a special iPad version of the site will be available for the devices’ UK launch on Friday, which will stream high definition programmes to Apple’s £429 device. The overhaul is believed to be aimed at addressing complaints that the BBC was crushing competitors by its popularity. Last month more than 123 million radio and TV programmes were streamed to users. “We want to double the amount of traffic we send to other websites,” said Erik Huggers, BBC Director of Future Media & Technology. He said big budget cuts were also planned.