The BBC is to introduce series stacking to the iPlayer and programme sites from September 13. It means viewers will be able to enjoy any episode, up to a maximum of 13, through to the end of a series. This extends the present catch-up window from the initial seven days to download and 28 days to view.
When the BBC Trust gave its approval to the iPlayer there were concerns as to how series stacking would be used with continuing dramas such as Casualty that would be restricted to so-called ‘story arcs’. The Trust imposed an annual quota of 15% of all television content offered on demand as an average through the year.
Initially the series stacking will be introduced only for streamed programmes, but will later be introduced to the online download service, and Virgin Media’s TV version. It will also only be applied to premiering series, in the process safeguarding later buythrough revenues for BBC Worldwide.
The BBC has said series stacking will be used on programmes from the autumn schedule that include dramas Merlin, Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Little Dorrit and Survivors; and factual output The History Of Climate Change. Bruce Parry’s Amazon and The Story of Maths.