Statement: Review of proposed increased amount of archive content on BBC iPlayer

Published: 19 October 2022
Consultation closes: 14 November 2022
Status: Closed (statement published)

Statement published 30 November 2022

All major video-on-demand (“VoD”) services offer a mixture of new programmes and catalogues of older content. Since 2019, audiences have been able to access programmes on BBC iPlayer for 12 months from broadcast as standard. Older programmes are also available, such as past series of returning titles. Currently, the BBC limits the availability of older programmes on BBC iPlayer by reference to the volumes that it set out in its 2019 proposal for BBC iPlayer.

The BBC has proposed to no longer apply these limits and to increase the amount of older content on BBC iPlayer by publishing – subject to its financial and operational constraints – any title in line with its agreements with producers and underlying rightsholders. It has consulted and subsequently carried out a public interest test (“PIT”) on its plans. The BBC Board has found the PIT to be satisfied and the proposed change to be not material.

As required by the BBC Charter and Agreement, we have conducted an assessment of the BBC’s proposed change to BBC iPlayer, in order to determine whether the proposed change is ‘material’.  We consulted on our provisional view that the proposed change is not material, which would mean that we would not be required under the Agreement to carry out a BBC competition assessment (“BCA”) or a shorter assessment considering elements of the BCA (“Shorter Assessment”).  We have now taken account of feedback from stakeholders in reaching our conclusion.

In the below statement, we explain our conclusion that the BBC may proceed with its proposal. We summarise the views of stakeholders in response to our consultation and how we have considered these in reaching our conclusion.

Back to top