Ofcom has told the BBC it can go ahead with plans to increase the number of library shows on BBC iPlayer, but criticised a lack of inclusiveness in low socio-economic groups.
A previous request, approved in 2019, allowed the Player to change from a 30-day catch-up service to one where programmes are available for 12 months as standard. A limited number of shows could be drawn from the archive outside of the period.
The new request would drop the limits, subject to agreements with producers and underlying rightsholders.
The regulator agreed to the proposal despite some concerns of “crowding out”, which were seen as more likely to impact on domestic providers rather than the international competitors.
Separately, Ofcom is to examine why lower-income viewers are less satisfied with are less engaged and less satisfied with the BBC. Its Annual Report on the performance of the BBC found BBC needs to do more to reach and resonate with viewers and listeners on lower incomes.
In a statement, a BBC spokesperson said: “Ofcom recognises our investment in distinctive UK content, how we bring audiences together for major national moments and the significance of our trusted, impartial news, which means we’re delivering on our remit and delivering value for audiences.
“While BBC is the most used media brand for low socio-economic groups, we know we have further to go both on and off screen so we are commissioning ever more varied content that reflects UK communities and we’ve set a new staff target, for 25% of staff to come from low socio-economic backgrounds to ensure we’re serving all audiences.”