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BBC submits findings to Ofcom for iPlayer upgrades

Claims that proposed changes will strengthen public value

The BBC has completed the Public Interest Test ordered by Ofcom regarding proposed upgrades to iPlayer, including making programmes available for longer and offering more box sets and archive titles.

According to the BBC, the test found that:

  • The proposed changes will create public value and will not have an adverse impact on fair and effective competition
  • The changes bring BBC iPlayer in line with the industry standard
  • To impose limits on BBC iPlayer risks undermining the BBC’s ability to continue to innovate and evolve its service in line with changing market norms and audience expectations

Audience research also revealed that 63 per cent of people surveyed felt the changes would deliver better value for the licence fee, while 66 per cent felt the changes would make iPlayer appeal to a wider variety of people.

BBC content director Charlotte Moore said: “Audience expectations have changed dramatically, viewers are now used to being able to watch what they want when they want, and they expect much more from BBC iPlayer.

“We want to make the best UK programmes available to audiences for longer and provide a range of series and box sets for everyone to enjoy. This will bring the BBC iPlayer in line with what other services already offer and give audiences even greater value for their licence fee.

“The media landscape is changing rapidly, and global media giants are increasingly dominant. We hope Ofcom can consider these plans quickly and enable us to deliver what UK audiences want and expect.”

Ofcom will now complete a BBC Competition Assessment before making a final decision on the proposed changes.