BBC iPlayer delivers record end-of-year performance

LONDON - The BBC iPlayer has delivered record end-of-year figures with 41m requests to view BBC programmes via the iPlayer in December 2008 with a bumper Christmas week fuelled by 'Wallace and Gromit' and 'Doctor Who'.

This compares to just over 35m requests in November 2008, bringing the total number of requests for the year to 271m.

During the seven day period from Christmas Day to December 31 the total number of requests was 8m with 'Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death' topping the list of most requested programmes.

It was followed by 'Doctor Who Series 4: The Next Doctor', 'Top Gear Series 12: Episode 8 (Vietnam)', 'Gavin and Stacey: Christmas Special' and 'The Royle Family: The New Sofa'.

'EastEnders' was also popular on the iPlayer featuring six times in the top 20 requested programmes list.

The Christmas and New Year period also saw BBC Three recording its best ever week (December 29 to January 4) with a share of 5.1% among its target audience of 16- to 34-year-olds.

It concludes a successful year for the channel with year-on-year growth of 16% among the target audience.

Jana Bennett, director of BBC Vision, said: "This was an excellent Christmas for BBC Vision as audiences fully embraced on-demand alongside their traditional viewing.

"The fact that BBC One delivered 17 out of the top 20 programmes on BBC iPlayer and 9 out of 10 on traditional TV continues to prove that our channel brands remain strong across all of our platforms."

Erik Huggers, director of BBC Future Media & Technology, said: "This confirms that 2008 was the year of the BBC iPlayer.

"The service evolved dramatically throughout its first 12 months -- we've just introduced downloading for Mac and Linux users, and a special version of BBC iPlayer for CBBC -- and the innovation will continue in 2009."

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