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BBC iPlayer enjoys record week as viewers switch off traditional TV

12 January 2018

Box-sets brought the BBC a Christmas viewing gift - a record audience for iPlayer.

There were 69.2m requests - a measure of viewership online - between Christmas Day and the end of 2017, a rise of almost 20 per cent on the same period the year before.

The BBC has announced it received ten million more requests for programmes in the week December 25 to 31st compared with the same festive period previous year, as it released entire series of old television shows to iPlayer.

A host of box-sets and classic programmes made available for people to enjoy during the holidays - from Peaky Blinders and Line of Duty to family favourite animation Stick Man - contributed to BBC iPlayer's record-breaking week.

By way of comparison, the figures recorded for the equivalent period previous year stood at 58.6m requests for 22.5m hours of content.

The most popular show on BBC iPlayer over the whole festive period was the Christmas Day episode of EastEnders, which saw 1.6 million requests. Gangster drama Peaky Blinders along garnered more than eight million requests. The Queen's Christmas message was shown on both BBC One and ITV 1 with the combined rating making it the 7th most watched programmme.

Charlotte Moore, the BBC director of content, said: "It's hugely exciting to see such unprecedented numbers come to BBC iPlayer this Christmas".

The soap has nine episodes in the top 20, which also saw strong showings for the Apprentice final, the finale of Peaky Blinders fourth series, Doctor Who's Twice Upon a Time special and the Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special.

This was after a number of popular box-sets were added to the streaming service, including Sherlock, Blue Planet and Miranda.

The BBC noted its stats do not include those that have watched iPlayer using pay TV services Sky and Virgin Media.

BBC iPlayer enjoys record week as viewers switch off traditional TV