BBC iPlayer has become one of the most well known online streaming solutions in the UK. It has been announced a global version of the service is set to close on June 26th, 2015.
Recent reports have suggested for the first time usage of iPlayer has slowly started to decline and with the increase in other sources of online content and sites such as Netflix taking large portions of the market it is hardly surprising.
Regardless of the minor decline millions of users still use BBC iPlayer to access some of the best content BBC has to offer online with both catch-up and live TV options available. BBC iPlayer is restricted to users in the UK, however, a “Global” version of the service has been available in select countries around the world in recent years.
This service is now set to close leaving millions of users around the world who pay for content without access to the BBC via direct methods.
What is BBC iPlayer Global?
BBC iPlayer Global is a service available in areas with large amounts of expat Brits and includes Australia, Canada and Western Europe allowing users to access select BBC content. The US has a large number of Brits living abroad and many state-side users themselves enjoy BBC programming. However due to regional conflicts the service didn’t make it to the United States.
The service was initially launched as a “pilot” and never actually shook off this title and although it was technically a test service it appeared to be extremely popular in Australia. With over 1.4 million Brits living in Australia making it the most popular place in the world for expat British citizens it is no wonder that the service was so popular.
BBC iPlayer Global was only ever available on iOS systems and came at a per month cost of £4.30 in Europe, £3.70 in Canada and £3.80 in Australia.
BBC iPlayer Global set to close
The service is set to close on June 26th, 2015 leaving viewers around the world without access to their favourite BBC shows. Users who have current subscriptions will find that their billing is cancelled and will not renew for the following month.
Users who currently pay for content will no doubt look towards other options to access BBC content in a non-direct manner such as VPN services.
What are the options now to access BBC content abroad?
Those outside the United Kingdom who wish to still access BBC iPlayer will need to sign up a service called a Virtual Private Network or VPN for short.
A VPN allows you to virtually reside inside another country. When you access BBC iPlayer from outside the UK you’re greeted with a blocked message. A VPN allows you to pretend you are in the UK so when accessing BBC iPlayer you will no longer be blocked but be able to access all the content as if you were physically in the UK even though you are in a totally different country.
A VPN service costs between £3-£6 per month and three we recommend for watching iPlayer abroad are :-
One of the most popular articles on our site over recent years has been a detailed guide on how to use a VPN to access BBC iPlayer abroad simply, How to watch BBC iPlayer abroad, so feel free to have a read if you need extra information.
With BBC iPlayer Global closing the increase in users making use of VPN services to access iPlayer around the globe will no doubt increase greatly.