Ofcom gives full confirmation of BBC iPlayer upgrade | VOD | News | Rapid TV News
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After giving the provisional greenlight to the move, the UK’s broadcast regulator Ofcom has given the final confirmation that the BBC can go ahead with planned changes to BBC iPlayer.
iPLayer 19 Feb 2017
The BBC first announced plans to enhance the live, on-demand and catch-up service in November 2018 with the most notable change being change iPlayer from a service where programmes are available to catch-up for 30 days after broadcast, to one where programmes are available for a year as standard, with some available for longer.

However, Ofcom subsequently criticised the BBC for lack of transparency regarding its iPlayer development plans and mandated the BBC to conduct a public interest test to properly assess the changes’ value and potential impact on other broadcasters. In addition, as required by the BBC Charter and Agreement, Ofcom undertook a competition assessment to consider these plans.

The provisional conclusions of Ofcom’s assessment in June 2019 were that even the proposed changes to would pose challenges for other public service broadcasters’ video-on-demand services, they could also deliver significant public value over time. In particular, Ofcom pinpointed potential increased choice and availability of public-service broadcast content and help in ensuring that the BBC remained relevant in the face of changing viewing habits. As it gave its guidance, Ofcom said it was inviting views from interest or affected parties on its provisional conclusions by 10 July.

In its final decision, Ofcom says that in line with its provisional view, it has concluded that the proposed changes to iPlayer could deliver significant public value over time and that 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 cautioned that it remained concerned about the competitive challenges created, particularly for other public service broadcasters’ video-on-demand services and potential UK entrants such as BritBox — the forthcoming ITV and BBC SVOD service — and how this could impact audiences.

Ofcom stressed in its final assessment that while it concluded that the public value justifies the adverse impact on fair and effective competition already identified, and the BBC can proceed with its plans, this was still subject to certain conditions and guidance. These conditions it said would help ensure that the new BBC iPlayer delivered future public value, and in order to mitigate risks to fair and effective competition.