The Apprentice dominates December viewing on BBC iPlayer
James R | On 11, Feb 2016
The Apprentice dominated activity on BBC iPlayer in December 2015.
The latest figures from the BBC show that there were 309 million TV and radio requests for programmes on BBC iPlayer and BBC iPlayer Radio at the end of last year, slightly down from the previous Christmas.
The thing tearing people away from their roast dinners and festive crackers? Alan Sugar, as The Apprentice dominated activity on the Beeb’s catch-up service for the second month in a row. In November, the series accounted for the four most popular episodes on the site, with each attracting over 1.4 million views or downloads. While most programmes traditionally see a decline in ratings as they continue, The Apprentice kept bringing people back, with the show accounting for the top four episodes once again in December, once more viewed over 1.4 million times each.
Luther also proved popular, with the return of Idris Elba’s detective bagging 1.43 million requests, although its second episode fell to 935,000 requests. Doctor Who and And Then There Were None were the other highlights of the festive BBC calendar, attracting 1.27 per cent and 929,000 views respectively. Nativity, one of the few festive films available on iPlayer during the holidays, did well, racking up 779,000 views.
TV requests in total rose by 1 million compared to November 2015, but fell from 273 million requests in December 2014 to 253 million. There were an average of 10 million TV and radio requests daily, down from 10.3 million in November and 10.9 million in December 2025.
The BBC says the TV schedule was partly to blame, as 2014 included “some very strong titles”, such as Top Gear and The Missing. If viewing declined, though, it also become something that families did more together: there was a slight decrease in iPlayer requests from computers, while the other devices saw increases compared to November. Most notable is the increase in TV platform operators and connected TV devices, as big screen viewing proved popular over the festive period.