Viewing live television broadcasts from any UK broadcaster, or BBC TV catch-up programmes, in the UK without a TV licence is a criminal offence.The site tagline was "Catch up on the last 7 days of BBC TV & Radio", reflecting that programmes were unavailable on i Player after this time (with some exceptions).In May 2010 the site was updated again, to include a recommendations feature and a "social makeover".In February 2011, the BBC i Player was once again modified to include links to programmes from other broadcasters, including ITV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, Channel 4, E4, More4, Film4, Channel 5, 5*, 5USA and S4C.The original i Player service was launched in October 2005, undergoing a five-month trial by five thousand broadband users until 28 February 2006.i Player was heavily criticised for delay in its launch, rebranding, and cost to BBC licence-fee payers, because no finished product had been released after four years of development.The open beta incorporated a media player, an electronic programme guide (EPG) and specially designed download client, and allowed the download of BBC Television content by computers assigned to a United Kingdom-based IP address, for use up to thirty days after broadcast.
The marketing slogan was later changed to "Making the unmissable, unmissable".
i Player services delivered to UK based viewers feature no commercial advertising; non-UK users receive adverts.
The terms BBC i Player, i Player, and BBC Media Player refer to various methods for viewing/listening to the same content.
The BBC Trust permitted 15% of content to be offered as part of the stacking service; soaps, news bulletins and review-based programmes will not be stacked, nor programmes containing material of a legal nature, such as Crimewatch.
On 19 December 2008, the BBC released, as part of the i Player Labs feature, i Player Desktop for OS X and Linux operating systems.