BBC iPlayer enjoyed a criminally successful February, with McMafia, Collateral and The Young Offenders all stealing viewers’ attention.
Last month was iPlayer’s best February on record, with more than 285 million programmes watched by viewers, a 4 per cent year-on-year increase, with average daily requests of 10.2 million.
The first episodes of new drama series Requiem and Collateral were the most popular programmes of the month, with 1.9 and 1.7 million requests respectively. McMafia continued its strong performance in January, with episodes seven and eight getting 1.4 and 1.2 million requests apiece.
Live sport also played a big role in the month, with the Winter Olympics, FA Cup and Six Nations all contributing to an increase in overall live viewing in BBC iPlayer in February. Live viewing accounted for 21 per cent of all requests, the highest proportion since June 2017.
But the role of BBC Three should not be underestimated. The online channel has continued to grow since its launch in 2016, winning multiple awards for its programming. New comedy The Young Offenders, a spin-off series from the hit Irish film, drew 1.036 million viewers with its first episode, while BAFTA-winning documentary Life and Death Row, which returned for a new mini-series, The Mass Execution, racked up 827,000 views with its opening chapter. Together, they mark one of the relatively few times that more than one BBC Three series have been in BBC iPlayer’s monthly top 10 programmes.
Dan McGolpin, controller of programming and daytime for the BBC, says: “February was a record breaking month for BBC iPlayer with new drama titles such as Requiem and Collateral leading the way. McMafia continued its strong performance from January with the full series attracting viewers beyond the transmission of the final episode. It’s also great to see an increasing number of viewers finding top quality live sport on iPlayer from the Winter Olympics to the Six Nations to the FA Cup.”