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BBC iPlayer facts for kids

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BBC iPlayer
Developer(s) BBC
Initial release 25 December 2007; 14 years ago (25 December 2007)
Stable release
3.2.15 / 13 July 2012; 9 years ago (2012-07-13)
Written in Javascript

Adobe AIR

Platform Windows

Apple TV
Amazon Fire TV
Virgin Media (Streaming only)
Freesat (beta)
Sky Go (part of on Demand service)
Sky TV
BT TV (part of on Demand service)
Now TV
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
Xbox 360
Xbox One
Windows Phone 8

Wii U
Available in English


Scottish Gaelic
Type Media player software
License TV licence

BBC iPlayer, commonly shortened to iPlayer, is an online service developed by the BBC which lets you catch up on the last week's television and radio. The service can be used from computers on the BBC website at It can also be used from games consoles, cable television, smart phones and tablets.

BBC iPlayer was first called the Integrated Media Player (iMP), the Interactive Media Player, and then MyBBCPlayer. BBC iPlayer left Beta and went live on 25 December 2007. On 25 June 2008, it was announced that a new-look iPlayer would be launched. The new version is now live.


In July 2007 the BBC started a small BETA version of iPlayer as a trial service. During this BETA time, iPlayer was only available as a download (WMV format) meaning that any person who did not have Windows loaded on their computer could not use iPlayer. This was not a popular move, and the BBC was put under pressure to allow all people to use iPlayer.

On Christmas Day 2007, iPlayer was no longer in BETA. People could now also watch programmes on the website instead of having to download the video as people had to do before. This meant that people who did not have Windows installed on their computers could use iPlayer as well. This made iPlayer a lot more popular and easier to use, so much so that 3.5 million programmes were viewed in a fortnight.

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