The BBC’s plans to extend the catch up window on iPlayer will now move forward after the BBC Trust today approved the plans.
The extension of the catch up window, which will see programmes remain available on iPlayer for up to a month after they are broadcast, is expected to be implemented over the Summer. The plans, designed in part to compete with greater competition in the VOD space from the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video (formerly LOVEFiLM), earned approval from the Trust after a formal assessment of the significance of the plans and advice from Ofcom on the potential impact of the proposals on others interested parties.
“With an average of 10.7 million programme requests every day, BBC iPlayer is highly valued by audiences and has been a phenomenal success since it launched six years ago”, said BBC Trust Vice Chairman Diane Coyle. “It is important that iPlayer continues to evolve and meet the expectations of users. We have conducted a thorough assessment of these proposals, including taking independent advice from Ofcom, and concluded that this is a sensible move that will benefit audiences and provide a clearer and more consistent catch-up service.”
In response to the approval and above statement from the Trust, the BBC Executive issued the following statement: “People keep telling us they want programmes to be available on BBC iPlayer for longer – so extending availability from seven to 30 days will make iPlayer even better. New iPlayer already has downloads, better recommendations, HD, live restart, favourites and collections, and extending the catch-up window to 30 days gives people even longer to enjoy their favourite BBC programmes. We will now set about making this happen with the aim to roll this out from the summer.”