YOUR favourite TV programme could soon be available on BBC iPlayer for a whole year after it first aired, if the public service broadcaster gets its way.
The BBC is consider major changes to the catch-up service to improve its value for license fee payers, it announced today.
Apart from making programmes available for at least a year, the broadcaster is also considering introducing complete series box sets for some titles made up of new returning series and their previous series as well as more archive content.
The plans are in response to viewers who expect BBC programming and box sets to remain on iPlayer longer than 30 days, it said.
The proposed changes are to ensure it continues to deliver good value for money in return for the license fee – currently £150.50 per year.
In the last few years, the BBC has been hit with competition from US streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, alongside UK services such as ITV Hub, All 4, My5, UKTV Play and Now TV, which all make their content available for longer.
In fact, over the last four years, the combined market share of Netflix and Amazon has grown from 36 per cent to 54 per cent, while BBC iPlayer’s share has more than halved.
Charlotte Moore, director, BBC Content, commented: “We know that in the future BBC iPlayer will be the main way many people will want to watch the BBC.
“It already is for many younger viewers.
“These changes are about ensuring we continue to deliver value for money to licence fee payers – and meet expectations of viewers who want to watch full series whenever they choose to.
“It’s also important that regulation recognises that there should be a level playing field for public service broadcasters, to ensure British stories are being told for British audiences.”
How to watch TV legally without paying for a licence
IN the UK, any household watching or recording live television must hold a TV licence.
In recent years, this has been extended to include BBC programmes on iPlayer, whether they are live, catch up or on demand.
But does everyone really need a licence? Here’s the lowdown on how to avoid paying – legally.
- Watch on demand TV available through services such as ITV Player, All4, My5, BT Vision/BT TV, Virgin Media, Sky Go, Now TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
- Watch on demand movies from services such as Sky, Virgin Media, BT Vision, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.
- Watch recorded films and programmes either via DVD or Blu-ray, or downloaded from the internet.
- Watch YouTube where you can view video clips and more.
The consultation launched today is aimed at industry figures, and will run until February 15.
After it closes the BBC will consider stakeholders responses, before the BBC Board approves the Public Interest Test, as required by law.
Regulator Ofcom will then complete an assessment on the potential impact of the proposals, before making a decision on whether the changes can go ahead.
More on money
Millions of Brits face losing their free TV licenses as BBC considers increasing the age threshold for eligibility.
But it is also plotting to axe free license fee for over 75s entirely as it’s “unfair” on young Brits.
Meanwhile, millions of Brits have stopped paying the fee in recent years in favour of streaming sites such as Netflix and Amazon.
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