Watching iPlayer internationally will be no more soon, says BBC

13 May 2015

Being able to watch old episodes of Top Gear or Have I Got News for You won’t be available to those outside the UK through its iPlayer much longer after the BBC announced its international service is to end in June.

While those based in the UK (or frankly anyone with an IP-cloaking VPN) have been able to watch their favourite BBC shows for free, international members have only been able to access a paid-for subscription service in Ireland, western Europe, Australia and Canada.

Aside from the two previously mentioned hits, other shows offered on BBC iPlayer included Doctor Who, Sherlock and David Attenborough’s range of nature documentaries.

According to the BBC, the closure has been in the works for more than a year and it will cease operations on 26 June.

Available through desktop, and mobile from 2011, those in Europe have been charged €5.99 per month to avail of the service, but it did not offer the same service as the one in the UK by limiting its viewing selection to its top shows.

Much of the iPlayer’s success abroad appeared to have been from Australia, where at one point it accounted for 20pc of the service’s revenue, while nearly a quarter of its entire list of subscribers came from Down Under.

The service had attempted a US launch, where shows like Top Gear are incredibly popular, but American pay-TV companies blocked the move over fears of losing customers.

BBC iPlayer image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic