LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s media regulator has given the BBC provisional permission to change its popular iPlayer on-demand platform from a 30-day catch-up service to one where programs are available for 12 months or longer.
Ofcom said the changes would help the BBC stay relevant in the face of changing viewing habits and deliver value to the public, which funds the broadcaster by paying an annual license fee of 154.50 pounds ($196) per household.
It said the changes would pose challenges for other public service broadcasters’ video-on-demand services, and would therefore need to be subject to conditions to mitigate against risks to fair competition.
The BBC launched iPlayer in 2007, offering programs for seven days after broadcast. The viewing window was extended to 30 days in 2014.
Ofcom said it was inviting other views before publishing a final decision by August.
Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Stephen Addison