Scripted BBC Three comedy shows will, from the end of August, be shown first on the BBC’s streaming iPlayer service before they are broadcast on TV, the channel has confirmed.
Kicking off the new approach is Bad Education with Jack Whitehall, the shows will be available a full week before they are broadcast on television and form a part of the BBC’s pledge to experiment with and showcase more content on its digital platform.
“BBC Three audiences are digitally savvy, and view our programmes in a number of different ways online and on the go. We’ve already been experimenting with online content, starting with the hugely popular Comedy Feeds, now in their second season and with a third in the pipeline,” Zai Bennett, Controller of BBC Three, said. ”Premiering our scripted comedies on BBC iPlayer is an obvious and exciting step forward for BBC Three, and yet another innovative way to give our viewers more choice in the ways they can enjoy our programmes.”
Earlier in the year, the BBC said it would bring 40 hours of programming from other BBC channels to the iPlayer service, including Peter Kay’s Car Share. In March, it then said it would commission six original dramas just for iPlayer over the next two years.
The company said that with iPlayer support for more than 650 different devices, the changes would allow viewers to watch more of what they want, when they want.
According to Victoria Jaye, Head of BBC TV Content Online and IPTV, some 42 percent of viewers have no particular programme in mind when they open iPlayer and a third would be happy to try “new and different” content, making it complementary to the BBC’s television broadcasts.
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