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BBC iPlayer Competition Assessment: statement on Ofcom’s final determination


Statement published: 1 August 2019

The BBC has proposed to change BBC iPlayer from a service where programmes are available to ‘catch-up’ for 30 days after broadcast, to one where programmes are available for 12 months as standard, with some available for longer.

As required by the BBC Charter and Agreement, we have carried out a competition assessment, under which we:

  • looked at the public value provided by the BBC’s proposals;
  • analysed the way in which they impact on competition; and
  • considered whether that public value justifies any adverse impacts that we identified.

This document sets out our analysis and final determination.

In line with our provisional view, we have 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, we remain concerned about the competitive challenges created, particularly for other public service broadcasters’ video-on-demand services. 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.

Article originally written and published by Ofcom on 1/8/19.

Written by DTG Team

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