BBC extends iPlayer downloads to mobiles

LONDON - The BBC has licensed digital rights management software in order to make iPlayer downloads available to mobile phone users, and claims Mac users will be able to use iPlayer's download feature by the end of the year.

The corporation has signed licence agreements with three companies, The Content Management License Administrator (CMLA), CoreMedia and Intertrust, which allows it to create and distribute content in the Open Mobile Alliance DRM 2 format.

This ensures that downloaded content will only stay on mobiles for the 30-day period set for iPlayer.

Owners of Nokia's newest handset, the N96, have been the first to benefit from the ability to download iPlayer content, such as 'EastEnders' and 'Little Britain USA'. The BBC says the facility will be extended to other handsets supporting the OMA DRM 2 system.

The iPhone and iPod Touch have been able to stream iPlayer programmes since March.

Matthew Postgate, controller of Mobile for the BBC, said: "Mobile is an extremely important part of our strategy to allow audiences to access BBC content on multiple platforms at their convenience.

"Each of these companies plays a valuable part in helping the BBC evolve its services for audiences and push the boundaries of the broadcasting industry."

However, Mac users are still waiting for the BBC to allow them to download iPlayer content.

Yesterday Erik Huggers, director of BBC Future Media & Technology, promised this would be possible by the end of the year.

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