The BBC has unveiled partnership proposals that it claims will be worth£120 million a year to its rival public service broadcasters, including sharing the iPlayer.

The wide-ranging proposals cover the production, distribution and exploitation of content.

The corporation has also revealed plans to develop a common industry approach to delivering on-demand and internet services to TV sets via set top boxes in partnership with ITV and BT.

Among the more radical proposals is opening iPlayer to content from other broadcasters. The result would be a “federation of on-demand PSB services” either as a single broadcaster-neutral site or through creating separate '/iplayer' sections of each participating PSB's website.

Each participant would then exploit its own rights commercially as it sees fit.

The BBC said the plans would be compatible with Project Kangaroo, which it remains committed to.

As well as the iPlayer and IPTV proposals, the BBC also suggested:

  • Opening up access to regional audio visual content and broadcasting facilities: the BBC is exploring options for sharing regional news footage and premises where appropriate to support provision beyond the BBC

  • Sharing digital production technology: the BBC proposes to invest in and share technology that will allow a common industry approach to producing, sharing and editing digital content

  • BBC Worldwide: discussions are underway to explore a series of commercial areas of cooperation between BBC Worldwide and Channel 4

  • Broadband: harnessing the strength and popularity of bbc.co.uk to drive reach and usage of other public service content across the internet

  • Sharing research and innovation, training and audience research with the rest of the industry, extending our current efforts in this area.

Director general Mark Thompson said the proposals “directly address the central question of the public service broadcasting debate”.

He said: “While the BBC is also facing significant economic challenges, we can still play a valuable role in underpinning public service broadcasting at a time when the industry is grappling with huge strategic challenges. Through partnerships I believe broadcasters can help secure the future of public service broadcasting in this country.”