BBC iPlayer breaks records with Peaky Blinders and Doctor Who

Peaky Blinders and Doctor Who helped iPlayer to its best year ever. (BBC)
Peaky Blinders and Doctor Who helped iPlayer to its best year ever. (BBC)

BBC iPlayer had its best year ever in 2022, breaking 7 billion streams for the first time thanks to big successes with the likes of Peaky Blinders, Doctor Who and The Tourist.

New figures from the BBC's catch-up streaming service show it ended the year with both the best month and best quarter iPlayer has ever seen, with 700 million streams for December and 2 billion streams between October and December.

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A large part of the popularity late in the year was down to World Cup fixtures, which accounted for 92 million streams on iPlayer, while also reaching 38.8 million on BBC TV.

But outside of sport, BBC drama had a hugely successful year with the final season of Peaky Blinders hitting the top spot for most watched episode of the year as its first episode of the season was streamed 6.9 million times across the year, with over 55 million streams for the boxset.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 30/11/2021 - Programme Name: The Tourist - TX: n/a - Episode: Early Release (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  The Man (JAMIE DORNAN) - (C) Two Brothers Pictures - Photographer: Ian Routledge
The Tourist was a huge success for iPlayer. (BBC)

Other top boxsets for the year included Doctor Who with 56 million streams, Waterloo Road's early seasons from 2006-2015 with 46 million streams ahead of its comeback this year, and Death in Paradise at 46 million streams.

New drama was also a hit with viewers, as series The Tourist, The Responder, SAS Rogue Heroes, Inside Man, Sherwood and This is Going to Hurt all made it into the top 10 of most streamed episodes on iPlayer.

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Long-running BBC soap EastEnders had its best ever year on iPlayer, being streamed 366 million times - thanks in part to episodes being released in weekly boxsets during key sporting events throughout the year.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 01/02/2022 - Programme Name: This Is Going To Hurt - TX: n/a - Episode: This Is Going To Hurt - Generics (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Adam (BEN WHISHAW) - (C) Sister - Photographer: Ludovic Robert
This Is Going To Hurt made the top 10. (BBC)

Director of BBC iPlayer Dan McGolpin said: "2022 saw huge growth for BBC iPlayer, 7 billion streams is double where we were a few years ago.

"Alongside the big events like the World Cup and the outstanding coverage of the state funeral for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, people arrived in their millions to watch an array of big drama boxsets including the final series of Peaky Blinders and a large number of brand new series such as The Tourist, The Responder and SAS Rogue Heroes.

"Over the last year we’ve added more choice than ever before in every genre, with plenty more in store for 2023."