BBC submits plans to 'reinvent' iPlayer to Ofcom

25th Apr 19 | Entertainment News

The plans include making shows available on the service for longer.

(Nick Ansell/PA)

Making BBC iPlayer programmes available for longer is part of plans to improve the service submitted to Ofcom by the broadcaster.

The BBC said it is proposing that programmes be available on the catch-up service for at least 12 months after they are first shown.

It also suggests making selected returning programmes available as full box sets of all series and increasing the amount of content from the BBC Archive.

The broadcaster has sent its proposals to regulator Ofcom alongside the results of a public interest test which it says concluded that the changes would create public value and would not have an adverse impact on fair and effective competition.

The regulator has previously stated that because changes to iPlayer could increase its usage and affect other broadcasters, the BBC must carry out such tests.

Ofcom has argued for the tests because BBC content is free of advertising and more widely available compared to other on-demand services.

BBC director of content Charlotte Moore said: “Audience expectations have changed dramatically, viewers are now used to being able to watch what they want, when they want, and they expect much more from BBC iPlayer.

“We want to make the best UK programmes available to audiences for longer and provide a range of series and box sets for everyone to enjoy. This will bring the BBC iPlayer in line with what other services already offer and give audiences even greater value for their licence fee.

“The media landscape is changing rapidly, and global media giants are increasingly dominant. We hope Ofcom can consider these plans quickly and enable us to deliver what UK audiences want and expect.”

An Ofcom spokeswoman said: “We recognise that the BBC needs to innovate and keep pace with viewers’ needs.

“Under the BBC’s Charter, our role is to check whether these changes might harm popular, competing services like ITV Hub or All 4 – and if so, whether that’s justified by the value to BBC viewers.

“Now we’ve received the BBC’s own assessment, we are able to work swiftly and expect to conclude our process by August.”

© Press Association 2019