Ofcom OKs iPlayer changes
August 1, 2019
By Colin Mann
Ofcom has confirmed that the BBC can go ahead with planned changes to BBC iPlayer, subject to certain conditions and guidance.
The BBC intends to change BBC iPlayer from a 30-day catch up service, to one where programmes are available for 12 months as standard, with some available for longer. As required by the BBC Charter and Agreement, Ofcom undertook a BBC Competition Assessment to consider these plans.
In line with its provisional view, Ofcom has concluded that 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.
However, Ofcom remains concerned about the competitive challenges created, particularly for other public service broadcasters’ video-on-demand services.
Accordingly, while Ofcom has concluded that the public value justifies the adverse impact on fair and effective competition it has identified, and the BBC can proceed with its plans, this is subject to certain conditions and guidance. Ofcom says its conditions will help ensure that the new BBC iPlayer delivers future public value, and will mitigate risks to fair and effective competition.