BBC to premiere new shows on iPlayer before they arrive on TV

The Corporation plans to debut up to 40 hours of new programming online ahead of is transmission on conventional linear television

If you want to catch the very latest in BBC programming over 2013, you’ll likely need to be online as the Corporationwill be premiering shows from a range of genres on BBC iPlayer before they transfer to TV.


The trial, which will run for 12 months, builds on the success of previous BBC shows like Impractical Jokers which debuted their pilot episodes online before making it to the airwaves.

Minutes of a BBC Trust meeting which took place in December 2012 released yesterday said: “Members noted that the Trust’s Strategy and Approvals Committee had approved the launch of a trial for up to 12 months which would allow up to 40 hours of programming across a range of genres to be shown on BBC Online before transmission on linear television channels.”

It is not yet known whether the BBC plans to premiere established shows, new titles or a mixture of both as part of the plan.

In the past, the Corporation’s online-only content has been limited to pilots and special web-only series like the Doctor Who spin-off, Pond Life.

But the iPlayer is growing in popularity, having notched up 187m requests for content from computers, smartphones and net-ready TVs in the last month. And the Corporation’s new experiment is designed to see whether iPlayer’s contribution to the BBC’s overall viewing figures can be increased with online-only premieres.

A BBC spokesperson said: “During 2012, the BBC brought selected online-only programmes to audiences.


“These included BBC Three comedy pilots, a Doctor Who web series called ‘Pond Life’, and curated archive programmes for BBC Four. We will build on this in 2013, and make more programming exclusively available to our audiences via BBC iPlayer.”