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BNP leader unlikely iPlayer poster child

Nick Griffin helps boost Beeb's figures for take-up of service

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BNP leader Nick Griffin’s appearance on the BBC’s Question Time last month helped boost take-up of the Corporation’s popular online iPlayer service.

The Beeb said that the “widespread press attention” garnered by Griffin’s nails-down-a-blackboard turn on QT “had a clear ‘halo effect’ with user requests going up for other TV programmes” via the web-based version of iPlayer.

Late on Friday the public service broadcaster’s head of audience measurement, Jo Hamilton, said the BBC would begin sharing more iPlayer data with UK licence payers than it had done up to now.

According to the stats iPlayer users requested to watch the episode of QT that featured the British National Party's Griffin and first aired on BBC1 on 22 October, a total of 928,000 times in the space of seven days.

Oddly enough, the likes of Life, Merlin and Never Mind the Buzzcocks directly benefited from Griffin’s appearance on the political panel discussion show.

Meanwhile, The Chris Moyles Show and News Quiz were among the most popular requested programmes on radio in October.

Unsurprisingly, the figures also revealed that most iPlayer users remained “strongly under-55 in terms of age”, said the Beeb.

“What the data shows is as many men as women use iPlayer, with the typical iPlayer user younger than the typical TV viewer or radio listener. As you might expect, the vast majority of people access it via computer, but mobile and games console usage is growing,” said Hamilton.

The Corp can only provide data, compiled in-house, that include requests for both on demand catch-up (streams and downloads), or views of live simulcasts. It said it cannot report download playback due to data privacy restrictions, however.

October was the BBC’s biggest month since the service first launched in 2007. It pulled in 79.3 million requests for TV and radio shows, compared to 46.8 million requests in January this year.

“The last two weeks of October saw record numbers of TV programme requests, as a result of the Question Time event on 22 October, driving higher levels of traffic to a range of programmes on the service,” it said. ®

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