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Microsoft to release rival to BBC iPlayer

2010-03-15 08:30 BJT

BEIJING, March 11 (Xihunaet) -- Software giant Microsoft is launching an online video player which will rival the BBC iPlayer, media reported Friday.

The MSN Player which goes live on Saturday will feature thousands of hours of programming allowing users to enjoy full series of their favorite shows.

The service will be paid for with advertising but only available to viewers in the UK. Several on-demand television services have been launched in the past few years in Britain. The BBC's own iPlayer allows UK viewers to watch programmes up to two weeks after being broadcast and is funded through the licence fee.

The BBC is also waiting aproval to launch Project Canvas, a joint venture between the BBC and British broadcasters ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT as well as the mobile phone provider Carphone Warehouse.

It aims to provide on-demand video over a broadband connection. However, that proposal has been strongly criticized by BSkyB, the pay-TV operator that is 39 percent-owned by News Corporation.

Sky has said that the service does not do anything that commercial rivals cannot provide. The satellite broadcaster has also launched an online video player, but it is only available to paying subscribers.

Editor: Yang Jie | Source: Xinhua