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BBC iPlayer had best ever year in 2019, reached 4 billion requests

BBC iPlayer hits 4 billion requests in 2019
(Image credit: BBC)

BBC iPlayer had over 4 billion requests in 2019, in what the British Broadcasting corporation claims was its best ever year.

The catch-up and on-demand service had a record 4.4 billion requests last year, up around 12 percent on 2018.

The most requested? Killing Eve, whose second series garnered just shy of 41 million requests. The biggest single episode of 2019 was the Peaky Blinders series five opener, with just under 6 million requests.

Unsurprisingly, December was the service's strongest month. And even less surprising is that the top show was the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special, which had 4.3 million requests.

But it wasn't the entire year's biggest comedy – not by a long shot. That honour went to the second series of Fleabag, which had 21 million requests. Beeb stalwarts Strictly Come Dancing, MasterChef, Silent Witness and Line of Duty also proved popular.

Dan McGolpin, controller of BBC iPlayer, said in a statement: "More and more viewers are finding that BBC iPlayer offers them a total TV experience, bringing the nation together for big live events such as the Strictly final and providing everyone with brilliant boxsets like Fleabag that they can binge on whenever they want to."

The embattled corporation is naturally keen to shout about iPlayer's achievements. It's a challenging time for the BBC, with it coming under attack by both the Conservative government and Labour party for its much-debated licence fee funding model. BBC presenter Gary Lineker recently added to the debate by suggesting the licence fee should become optional.

And then there's the cut-throat competition from the likes of Netflix, Amazon and Apple to think about...

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