The BBC has been celebrating the success of its iPlayer over the festive period. High profile shows like Gavin & Stacey, Call the Midwife, EastEnders, and – yes – our little show, Doctor Who, have all done well.
The figures provided are for the period 20th December to 2nd January and cover total requests per programme (and per episode) over that time.
And Doctor Who was requested around 1,727,000 times over that period, making it the 14th most-watched programme on iPlayer.
Christmas is a special time for the iPlayer, as it went live on Christmas Day 2007, and has been ‘making the unmissable, unmissable’ ever since. This was the iPlayer’s biggest Christmas ever, with 203m requests to stream or download programmes. That’s an increase of over 30% on the same period in 2018-19. New Year’s Day saw 17.9 million requests alone, including Doctor Who and its new cousin, the Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss produced Dracula. Naturally, the annual festive misery and damnation in Albert Square brought brisk business for 9 of the 244 episodes of EastEnders shown over the holidays, but the jewel in the BBC’s crown was the Gavin & Stacey special, which received 4.6m requests.
Dan McGolpin, Controller of iPlayer and Programming at the BBC, said:
“It was a cracking Christmas for BBC iPlayer with more people than ever enjoying a huge range of great shows. The Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special was the icing on the cake, generating a ground-breaking number of requests, plus fan favourites like EastEnders and Call The Midwife and new series His Dark Materials and A Christmas Carol also top performers.
“2019 was iPlayer’s best ever year and 2020 got off to the perfect start with the New Year’s Day Doctor Who and Dracula both helping to deliver the highest number of requests in a single day. Millions of people are enjoying iPlayer’s expanded box-set offer and new series being made available for longer.”
The New Year’s Day Doctor Who, Spyfall, Part 1, is available on the iPlayer now, as is every other episode going back to the episode that brought the series back to television: 2005’s Rose.