BBC gets go ahead to show programmes for 12 months on iPlayer

Ofcom concluded that the BBC’s proposed changes would deliver “significant public value” over time

BBC Broadcasting House (Getty, EH)

BBC iPlayer has been given the go-ahead to keep programmes on the platform for up to 12 months, Ofcom has confirmed.


The BBC submitted the proposed changes to extend the availability of their programming from 30 days to a full year back in April.

In a statement issued by the broadcasting regulator, Ofcom concluded: “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.”

The ruling allows iPlayer to stand in direct competition with streaming giant Netflix, as well as Amazon Prime Video and Now TV – something which Ofcom also acknowledged.

“We remain concerned about the competitive challenges created, particularly for other public service broadcasters’ video-on-demand services,” the statement read.

Ofcom also believed that the ruling “could create challenges” even within the BBC’s own partnership with ITV for the upcoming BritBox platform.

A spokesperson for the BBC told, “It’s great news that’s we will be able to proceed with our plans to transform BBC iPlayer. By making shows available for longer and by expanding choice,  we’ll be able offer so much more to the public.

“We’ll continue to engage with the whole industry both directly and where appropriate via PACT in order to deliver these changes to audiences.”


iPlayer has proved itself to be hugely popular, with Jed Mercurio’s Bodyguard box set receiving over 40 million requests on the streaming service in 2018.