UK media regulator Ofcom has given the BBC a green light to add more archive content to its BBC iPlayer on-demand offering.
At the same time, Ofcom said the pubcaster was not doing enough to serve audiences on lower incomes and launched an in-depth review to assess how the BBC connects with disenfranchised viewers.
Audiences now can access most programmes on BBC iPlayer for 12 months from the date of broadcast. However, the BBC limits the availability of older programmes according to set volumes set out in its 2019 proposals for the extension of the service. The corporation now wants to increase the amount of older content on iPlayer by publishing any title in line with its agreements with producers and underlying rightsholders.
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After reviewing the plans, Ofcom said that “the proposal is unlikely to have a large audience impact, and that additional viewers will be drawn from across a large set of rivals, so the effect on individual competitors will be limited”.
It concluded that “the BBC may proceed with its proposal to increase the amount of archive content on BBC iPlayer” but cautioned that “the BBC will still be required to consider whether any future changes to BBC iPlayer could have a material impact on competition”.