The addition of EPGs for other channels to the BBC iPlayer is likely to make it very difficult for other aggregated GPS players such as Zatoo, TV Catchup and TV Guide to compete and positions the iPlayer as the de facto TV portal for the UK.
Has the BBC overstepped its remit again ? I would argue that it has. By doing this they are ostensibly becoming more than just a broadcaster. Of course, the BBC has taken more control over its distribution of late, even going as far as taking control of its satellite transmission, but this is a battle for the EPG.
Viewers will appreciate the move, since it provides a relatively centralised place to seek all content, and prevents the cumbersome navigation required when switching between the different interfaces on the main broadcasters' video portal.
But some key questions need to be asked:
1) Is the BBC becoming an aggregator - it's only a short step to aggregating the metadata and providing a unified interface (or Project Kangaroo by the back door) ?
2) Will equal access be provided for small channels and online channel operators ?
3) What commercial impact will this have, especially for other wannabe EPG providers ?
4) How will Sky and Virgin respond ?
5) Will the approach go beyond the web portal and onto the iPad app and Big Screen versions ?
Maybe all of this will deflect from the dismal state of YouView...