No iPlayer for Xbox 360 after all?

MS unhappy it's free, says source.

Plans to launch the BBC iPlayer on Xbox 360 have stalled, according to a report by The Telegraph.

The report quotes "sources close to the BBC's Future Media and Technology department" as saying problems have arisen because Microsoft has a policy of charging for all content available on Live. The iPlayer is already paid for via the licence fee and as a public service broadcaster, the BBC cannot charge users more money.

"Microsoft only wants to offer its users access to platforms it can charge for as this is the model it is pursuing," a source said.

"It wants to ensure that only those paying for Xbox Live Gold accounts can access its additional content services and even then there is usually a charge on top to get access to those." The Sky Player, for which users pay a subscription fee and must also have a Gold Live account, was given as an example.

"This does not fit with the BBC's model and Microsoft will not budge at the moment. It is really frustrating for those involved on the BBC side who want to make sure iPlayer is rolled out on as many popular entertainment platforms as possible," said the source.

The official line from a BBC spokesperson was, "BBC iPlayer has been extremely successful on PS3 and we recently re-launched on Nintendo Wii, from which the public response has been fantastic. People clearly want the BBC iPlayer on their gaming consoles, and we don't think Xbox users are any different, so we've had discussions with Microsoft about bringing the service to the platform."

Microsoft declined to comment on the report.

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