BBC opens public consulting on plan to make content available on iPlayer for 12 months

Have your say on the future of the iPlayer

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02:  In this photo illustration, the BBC iPlayer app is displayed on a laptop screen on August 2, 2016 in London, England. The BBC has announced that iPlayer users will have to pay a 145GBP TV licence fee from 1 September.  (Photo Illustration by Carl Court/Getty Images)

BBC programmes may soon be available to watch on iPlayer for up to 12 months, if a proposed plan to “reflect changing audience expectations” in the on demand service goes ahead.

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The Beeb has opened up public consultation on the plan as they seek to transform their iPlayer platform “from a catch-up and linear TV service into a destination for our audiences, where the BBC’s programmes will be available for longer, both for individual programmes and box sets.”

In other words, somewhere that’ll have a better chance at competing with increased competition from American streamers like Netflix and Amazon, which have deep pockets and have supercharged their output in recent years, as well as keep in line with rival UK broadcasters like Sky and Channel 4.

The three focal points of the BBC’s plan are to

  • Make new shows available for up to a year
  • Add complete series box sets of new and returning series
  • Add more archive content

As broadcasting regulator Ofcom sees these proposals as a material change to the public service provided by the BBC, the corporation will undertake a Public Interest Test to determine the value of this change and the impact it may have on its competition.

You can have your say by downloading the public interest consultation document here, and responding to the questions posed by either emailing publicinterest.test@bbc.co.uk or writing to BBC Corporate Affairs, Room 5045, BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London, W1A 1AA.

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See below for the questions posed in the consultation form in their entirety:

QUESTION 1: What do you think about the potential public value of our proposals for enhanced availability of BBC content, including the extent to which our proposals contribute to the BBC’s mission to serve all audiences through the provision of high quality and distinctive output and services which informs, educates and entertains?

QUESTION 2: What do you think about the benefit to consumers who will use the service, as well as wider potential social and cultural impacts?

QUESTION 3: What impact (positive or negative) do you think our proposals on enhanced availability might have on fair and effective competition?

QUESTION 4: Are there any steps you think we could take to minimise any potential negative effects on fair and effective competition or to promote potential positive impacts?