Brits flock to BBC iPlayer over Christmas header image

A huge number of people watched or listened to content on BBC iPlayer over the Christmas period, statistics from the broadcaster have revealed. 

The organisation received a total of 102 million requests for TV and radio programmes on its catch-up service between December 21st and January 1st. Some 80 million of these were for TV content, while 22 million were for radio. 

Close to a million people downloaded the iPlayer mobile and tablet apps during the festive season - in October the BBC revealed the apps had been downloaded 20 million times since their launch. 

New Year's Day became iPlayer's most popular day in history, with almost 11 million TV and radio requests made over 24 hours. This is up more than a third on the 8.1 million requests recorded on the same day in 2013.

Boxing Day was notable, as it saw more people watch iPlayer content over tablet computers than PCs - the first time this has happened.

Dan Taylor, head of BBC iPlayer, stated: "Christmas Day TV is all about families gathering around the biggest screen of the house and most viewing on the day is via broadcast TV. BBC iPlayer has an important role as a complementary platform for BBC broadcast programmes, especially on Boxing Day and New Year's Day."

The Christmas episode of Doctor Who - The Time of the Doctor - was the most popular programme on iPlayer, attracting 1.9 million views. Christmas Day and Boxing Day episodes of Eastenders were the next most viewed with 1.5 million and 1.3 million requests respectively. 

Mrs Brown's Boys (1.3 million) and December 27th's Eastenders (1.2 million) completed the top five. 

Another hugely popular programme was the mini episode released to mark the return of popular series Sherlock. Some 1.5 million people viewed the show on iPlayer, while a further 4.5 million watched it on YouTube. 

Did slow broadband stop you watching TV online this Christmas? Switch to Avonline to ensure you'll be able to enjoy next year's festive tele over the web.