BBC to stream select shows on iPlayer before television

Meeting the Netflix challenge head on

The BBC appears to realise it is in a battle with Netflix and has made the surprising decision to air some shows on the iPlayer first

The BBC plans to take the extraordinary step of screening some programming via the iPlayer, before it airs on its traditional television stations, it has been revealed.

The corporation will screen up to 40 hours of programming online first during a trial over the next 12 months following the decision made at a BBC Trustees meeting in December.

It is yet to be announced which shows will be part of the trial, but it's unlikely staples like Eastenders, Top Gear and Doctor Who will debut on the iPlayer before they're transmitted to the gogglebox.

Auntie has been experimenting heavily in online exclusives over the last year or so and this trial appears to be an extension of that.

In 2012, it commissioned a web-only Doctor Who spin-off series, called Pond Life, which was viewed over 5 million times, while a host of other pilots brought in 750,000 views in total.

The decision is thought to be a reaction to the threat posed by on-demand subscription services like Netflix. That threat increased exponentially last week with the launch of the first high profile Netflix original series House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey.

The US-based streaming company is making the entire season available to £5.99 a month subscribers in one chunk.

Viewers can, of course, already watch some regularly scheduled programming a day early on the iPlayer. Today's BBC News broadcasts are available a full 24 hours before tomorrow's news will be screened on BBC TV. Sorry...

Via Telegraph