If you would like to avoid to set the background image of main view controller through Interface Builder, you can use a different way and delete the UIImageview object from Interface Builder:
self.view.backgroundColor = [UIColor colorWithPatternImage:[UIImage imageNamed:@"backgroundImage.jpg"]];
You may use
viewDidLoad as well but
viewWillAppear avoid some flickering. With Xcode 3.2.5 is not possible to use the pattern yet.