The BBC’s iPlayer catch-up service may have shows available to watch for longer, after plans for programmes to be available for 12 months were approved on a “provisional” basis.
Broadcasting regulator Ofcom delivered the verdict after assessing the BBC’s competition such as Netflix and Now TV.
On the proposed changes, originally submitted in April, Ofcom said the extension “would pose challenges for other public service broadcasters’ video-on-demand services,” but would be justified as 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.”
The changes could “deliver significant public value over time.”
Ofcom’s final decision is expected to be delivered in August. Currently, the BBC’s most popular shows are available to watch for 30-days after they have been broadcast on the channel.
In a response, the BBC Press Office issued a statement saying the provisional ruling “is great news for audiences.”
“It will give viewers more value for their licence fee and mean we can better keep up with their growing expectations,” the statement read.
“Restricting the BBC to having programmes on iPlayer for 30 days no longer makes sense in a world where global streaming services can offer unlimited boxsets for as long as they want.
“We hope Ofcom can now confirm its decision swiftly so we can start giving licence fee payers the BBC iPlayer they want and deserve.”
iPlayer has proved itself to be a hugely popular, with Jed Mercurio’s Bodyguard box set receiving over 40 million requests on the streaming service in 2018.