New BBC Three comedies will air on iPlayer a week before TV

Just For Laughs: New BBC Three comedies will air on iPlayer a week before TV
The Beeb is ramping up its iPlayer-first options

The BBC has today confirmed that all new scripted comedy shows, made for BBC Three, will be shown on the iPlayer portal, a week before they're broadcast on television.

Starting with Jack Whitehall's Bad Education at the end of August, iPlayer viewers will get a 7-day exclusive window before the episodes arrive on free-to-air television.

The announcement represents the Beeb's increasing focus on its revolutionary on-demand platform, in the face of stiff competition from the connected services like Lovefilm, Netflix and Sky On Demand.

In February, the company confirmed iPlayer-first content was on the way through a 40-hour trial, including Peter Kaye's new sitcom Car Share. That experiment is ongoing and unrelated to today's announcement.

In March, Auntie also announced six short dramas would be airing exclusively on the iPlayer and would not be aired on television. BBC Three's Comedy Feeds are also exclusive to the platform.

More choice

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Zai Bennett, Controller of BBC Three, says: "BBC Three audiences are digitally savvy, and view our programmes in a number of different ways online and on the go. Premiering our scripted comedies on BBC iPlayer is an obvious and exciting step forward for BBC Three, and yet another innovative way to give our viewers more choice in the ways they can enjoy our programmes."

Meanwhile, Victoria Jaye, Head of BBC TV Content Online and IPTV, added: "Forty-two per cent of viewers who to come to BBC iPlayer today do so without anything specific in mind to watch, and over a third are happy to try new and different content.

"This presents a fantastic opportunity to use BBC iPlayer as a complementary platform to schedule broadcast programmes in new ways, and innovate with content that showcases fresh UK talent."

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.