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Ofcom gives provisional approval for BBC iPlayer changes

Broadcaster plans to make programmes available for 12 months or longer

Ofcom has provisionally approved the BBC’s proposed iPlayer changes, subject to conditions.

The BBC plans to make programmes available for 12 months or longer and submitted Public Interest Test findings to Ofcom in April.

Ofcom responded: “Our provisional conclusion is that the public value of the proposed changes to BBC iPlayer justifies the adverse impact on fair and effective competition we have identified.”

The regulator also acknowledged the BBC’s need to meet the pace of change in the broadcast sector, adding: “To some extent the changes that the BBC has proposed reflect its objective to keep pace with those changes.

“In general we accept that the BBC needs to ensure that it does not fall behind viewers’ expectations, but proposals for change need to be considered under the framework provided by the Charter and Agreement.”

Ofcom stipulated that certain conditions be met to mitigate against risks to fair and effective competition. A final decision is expected in August 2019.