Christmas has come early for BBC iPlayer fans, with the launch of the popular catch-up service on Apple TV just in time for the festive period.
Apple launched its new set-top box in September, alongside the new iPhone 6s and iPad Pro. It has been pegged as a top-seller this Christmas, but some Brits have expressed reservations due to its lack of local programming.
The device offers access to YouTube and Netflix but, until now, none of the terrestrial catch-up services have been available, leading many to question whetherApple TV is worth the £129 price tag.
However, now that iPlayer has been added to the roster – and ITV Player, All 4 and Demand 5 are expected to follow suit – Apple TV is a much more attractive proposition for users in the UK.
“Christmas is a popular time for viewers to come to BBC iPlayer, as they unwrap new devices and browse and discover the BBC’s fantastic Christmas programmes,” said Dan Taylor-Watt, head of BBC iPlayer.
“With the launch of iPlayer on new Apple TV, I’m delighted we’ve been able to give people another way of accessing the full breadth and range of BBC programmes.”
The iPlayer app is one of the most popular apps on Apple’s App Store and it’s also available on other set top boxes like the Roku players, Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV .
The BBC’s Christmas programming includes new episodes of Luther , Eastenders andThe Voice , as well as a new show that looks back at the public reaction to the original Star Wars films in the 1970s.
Meanwhile, Apple is reportedly working on its own streaming service in the same vein as Netflix, complete with its own original content.
However, it has reportedly suspended its plans, amid resistance from media companies who want more than the $30 to $40 a month Apple’s is offering to pay for their programmes.
Les Moonves, chief executive of CBS, recently told an industry conference that Apple had put its live TV plans “on hold” after running into difficulties striking deals.