Media regulator Ofcom has approved BBC plans to keep shows on iPlayer for longer, despite expressing concerns that the change could create “competitive challenges” for rival services.
The broadcaster currently makes most shows available on iPlayer for 30 days but had requested permission to extend this period to 12 months, a move it’s previously said would allow audiences to get better value from their Licence Fee by making it easier to watch shows they’ve missed or by getting a chance to re-enjoy series they’ve already watched.
Consenting to the move, Ofcom said it had “concluded that the BBC’s proposed changes to BBC iPlayer could deliver significant public value over time.
“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.”
However the regulator said it was “concerned about the competitive challenges created, particularly for other public service broadcasters’ video-on-demand services.
“So, while we have concluded that the public value justifies the adverse impact on fair and effective competition we have identified, and the BBC can proceed with its plans, this is subject to certain conditions and guidance.”
These conditions include working with Ofcom to “achieve effective measurement of the availability, consumption and impact of content on BBC iPlayer”.