BBC deal extends usage of iPlayer

The BBC has moved to address concerns about the limited availability of iPlayer, the corporation's digital catch-up service, by signing a deal with Adobe Systems.

The deal means that Mac and Linux users will be able to use the player, as well as those using Microsoft Windows.

Users will no longer have to download an application to view content on BBC iPlayer, as it will be available to stream online through Adobe's Flash Player Software.

The BBC said it expected the streaming service to go live by the end of the year and that it was part of a move to make its rich media content available to the widest audience possible.

The corporation will also announce today that iPlayer will make a full consumer launch in time for Christmas, when it will offer downloading, streaming and radio content.

The BBC came under fire earlier this year when it launched iPlayer for users of certain versions of Windows, Microsoft's operating system, only.

In a separate deal set to be announced today, the BBC will unveil a partnership with wi-fi operator The Cloud, whereby bbc.co.uk will be made available free through 7,500 hotspots in the UK.

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