BBC iPlayer has broken its own viewing record for the third month in a row, reporting 145 million requests during December 2010. This represents a 27 per cent increase on the number of TV and radio programmes sourced via the service during the final month of 2009.
In addition to the overall total requests booming, iPlayer also recorded a number of other all time highs. In December 2010, 89.7 million of the requests were for BBC television programmes (the most ever), as well as a record numbers being delivered to iPlayer through Virgin Media (23.9 million) and 7 million requests coming direct from Sony’s PlayStation platform, a 31 per cent month-on-month rise via the games console.
The Most popular television programme requests were for Top Gear and The Apprentice.
The Top Gear USA Road Trip accumulated 1.294 million requests, closely followed by the shows Christmas Middle East special which delivered 1.26 million views on the catch-up service.
Episodes of BBC business-tainment show The Apprentice also proved popular on iPlayer, making up five of the top ten most requested spots for the service in December 2010, combined delivering almost 4 million views to the digital player.
Other shows to make their way into the TV top ten include the first episode of Matt Lucas and David Walliam’s Airport sketch show Come Fly With Me (783,000), the Doctor Who Christmas Special (716,000) and the EastEnders Christmas special (610,000).
The most listened to radio programmes on iPlayer were dominated by the BBC’s Ashes cricket coverage, making up seven of the top ten positions. Top of the pops was day five of the of the Second Test which recieved 159,000 requests via iPlayer last month. Other popular radio shows included the coverage of Manchester United versus Arsenal in the Premier League, the Fifa World Cup decision and Chris Moyles Radio 1 show.
BBC’s Daniel Danker, General Manager, Programmes and On Demand, said: ‘These figures are a fantastic way to start the new year and I’m looking forward to building on these while we continue to evolve and improve BBC iPlayer. In December we saw huge growth of BBC iPlayer on game consoles, connected TVs, and mobiles phones. We’re seeing impressive audience appreciation for our TV and mobile experiences, and I anticipate that growth on these devices will significantly outpace traditional BBC iPlayer use in 2011.’