BBC Partners With Microsoft to Launch iPlayer on Xbox LIVE Free Platform

Xboxers will be able to switch from gaming to "Doctor Who" at the flick of a wrist.

LONDON – The BBC and Microsoft are teaming up to bring the broadcaster’s video-on-demand service, BBC iPlayer, to Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE free platform.

The hook-up means the BBC’s powerful VOD service is now available on every major gaming platform in the U.K.

It also means the BBC is the only U.K. content provider to make its programs available for free to all Xbox 360 users in the U.K. Xbox 360 users here will be able to switch from the latest edition of Halo to catch up on all the BBC programs from Top Gear and Eastenders to episodes of Doctor Who and Total Wipeout.

And for Xbox 360 users with Kinect, this means it's possible for BBC iPlayer users to discover and play programs using hand gestures and voice recognition.

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The launch on Xbox LIVE Tuesday, together with the launch on Sky later this year, will bring the iPlayer to millions of new users via the TV and builds on a substantial history of industry partnerships. BBC iPlayer is now on over 450 platforms and devices including Virgin Media, BT Vision, FreeSat, Freeview, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, and mobile phones, tablets, and internet-connected TVs.

Stephen McGill, director of Xbox and entertainment for Microsoft, said: "The addition of BBC iPlayer takes the service to the next level. We offer a formidable line-up of the best TV and entertainment – both live and on-demand - from providers such as Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5, Netflix, LOVEFiLM, Blinkbox, MSN, YouTube and many others."

The BBC says it has seen 433 million requests on TV devices in 2011.