The BBC claims it will support downloads through its iPlayer service on the Mac platform by the end of 2008.

In addition, Firefox users are now also able to use iPlayer.

BBC director general Mark Thompson revealed the plan on the company's website: "I hope this good news is evidence of the hard work that the BBC is committing to supporting other platforms," he wrote.

BBC iPlayer is the easy-to-use service that lets you access television programmes. It offers both seven-day catch-up television and live streaming and now also incorporates radio. Shows are free for UK license fee payers, at high quality and with no advertising.

The BBC faced strong criticism when it first introduced iPlayer because the service was Windows-only. The company quickly outmaneuvered the critics by introducing Mac support in its streaming TV service through use of Flash technology.

Alluding to the ‘Windows first’ decision, Thompson said: "Were we to choose to not develop any systems or services until they could be received by every single individual license-fee payer, our capacity for development and innovation - in the interest of serving those who fund our services - would be severely limited."

He added: "The BBC actually works hard to provide internet services on a "platform agnostic" basis."

The post also reveals that 9 per cent of existing iPlayer traffic is generated by Mac users.