BBC wants its shows available on iPlayer for at least 12 months in bid to compete with rivals

The BBC wants to show all of its programmes on iPlayer for a minimum of 12 months after they are aired.

The broadcaster has appealed to Ofcom to lift its current ‘arbitrary limit’ which means programmes are taken off iPlayer after 30 days. 

The broadcaster has launched a consultation into its proposals, which would see it move away from being seen as a catch-up service and allow it to compete with its rivals including Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Currently  ‘arbitrary limit’ that means shows must come off iPlayer after 30 days – saying it needs them up for a year to compete with Netflix and Amazon Prime

It also wishes to offer more complete series box sets and favourites from the BBC archive.

‘We know that in the future BBC iPlayer will be the main way many people will want to watch the BBC,’ said Charlotte Moore, director of content at the BBC.

‘It already is for many younger viewers. These changes are about ensuring we continue to deliver value for money to licence fee payers – and meet expectations of viewers who want to watch full series whenever they choose to.

‘It’s also important that regulation recognises that there should be a level playing field for public service broadcasters – to ensure British stories are being told for British audiences.’

If the BBC gets its way it would be able to provide a similar service to its its rivals including Netflix and Amazon Prime – which make programmes available for a long period of time.

The move comes as more people turn to video on demand services, instead of traditional linear viewing broadcast on TV at a set time.

The BBC has been experimenting with making more of its content available on iPlayer for longer, by making previous box sets for series such as Luther available online during the latest season 

It also has successfully launched programmes on iPlayer such as Killing Eve. 

The consultation which launched today is aimed at Industry stakeholders aand ends on February 15.

Stakeholders are being asked for their thoughts on the public value of enhanced availability and the potential impact on competition. 

Tony Hall, BBC director general, has previously said that the broadcaster needs to transform to remain relevant.

He said: ‘This transformation is essential. Without it, the BBC will look increasingly analogue in a digital world, and small against giant global competition.’

Last year saw the lowest TV ratings for a Christmas Day since records began, with the most watched programme, Call The Midwife on BBC1, attracting just 8.7 million. 

 

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