Ofcom has given the BBC permission to keep its shows on the iPlayer for more than a year.
In January this year, the BBC appealed to the regulator to allow it to keep programmes online for more than 30 days. This was to “reflect changing audience expectations.”
Today, Ofcom said that the changes could deliver “significant public value over time”. This “outweighed” the likely “adverse impact” it may have on rival services.
“We remain concerned about the competitive challenges created, particularly for other public service broadcasters’ video-on-demand services,” read Ofcom’s statement.
“So, while we have concluded that the public value justifies the adverse impact on fair and effective competition we have identified, and the BBC can proceed with its plans, this is subject to certain conditions and guidance. Our conditions will ensure that the new BBC iPlayer delivers future public value, and will mitigate risks to fair and effective competition.”
While good news for the BBC, independent producers have already expressed concerns about the proposals.
Trade association, PACT, said that it lessened the value of content for secondary sales. All3Media wanted the BBC to balance the changes with amendments to its commercial terms, policy and practice.
Channel 4 analysis concluded that there would be an increase in iPlayer viewing and a reduction in All 4. Although Ofcom said that these conclusions “overestimated” the impact of the proposals.
The BBC is about launch its new Netflix rival, BritBox, in partnership with ITV.