Ofcom gives ‘provisional’ approval to BBC iPlayer changes

Ofcom gives 'provisional' approval to BBC iPlayer changes


Image caption

The proposed changes were submitted to Ofcom in April

Broadcasting regulator Ofcom has given “provisional” approval to plans that would enable shows to be available on the BBC iPlayer for longer.

The BBC wants to change the iPlayer from a 30-day catch-up service to one where programmes are available for 12 months as standard.

After a competition assessment, Ofcom decided the changes could “deliver significant public value over time”.

The media regulator said it expected to make its final decision in August.

Ofcom said the proposed changes, submitted in April, “would pose challenges for other public service broadcasters’ video-on-demand services”.

Yet it said they were justified as they “could increase choice and availability of public-service broadcast content and help ensure the BBC remains relevant in the face of changing viewing habits.”

Affected parties have until 10 July to weigh in on the regulator’s provisional conclusions.

Image caption

Bodyguard was the most requested programme on iPlayer in 2018

In a statement, the BBC said the changes would “give viewers more value for their licence fee and mean we can better keep up with their growing expectations”.

“We hope Ofcom can now confirm its decision swiftly so we can start giving licence fee payers the BBC iPlayer they want and deserve.”

Most requested shows of 2018 (per series)

  1. Bodyguard Episode 1 (10.84 million)
  2. Killing Eve Episode 1, Series 1 (9.23 million)
  3. McMafia Episode 1 (4.74 million)
  4. Doctor Who: The Woman Who Fell to Earth (3.96 million)
  5. Keeping Faith Episode 1 (3.92 million)

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