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BBC iPlayer breaks one-day record

6.7 million viewings on Jan. 1

LONDON

The BBC’s U.K. on-demand service, the iPlayer, attracted a record 6.7 million requests for TV programs on New Year’s Day.

This beat the previous record of 6.4 million requests for programs on one day during last summer’s London Olympics.

The Christmas special edition of “Doctor Who” was the most popular show on the catch-up service during the holiday season with nearly 1.47 million views, up 300% on last year’s Yuletide show, which snagged 434,000 views.

The BBC said it received 77 million iPlayer requests for TV and radio shows from Dec. 22 to Jan. 1, an increase of nearly a third on the same period a year ago, when it scored 58.4 million requests.

The pubcaster’s figures do not include viewings from cabler Virgin Media, which is yet to release figures and where catch-up TV is a popular service.

The holiday season iPlayer top 20 was dominated by home-grown fare such as flagship soap “EastEnders.” Hollywood movies “Shrek Forever After” and “Kung Fu Panda” came in 13th and 17th respectively.

The pubcaster’s head of iPlayer, Dave Price, said Christmas Day saw a “significant spike” in users installing the iPlayer app on mobiles and tablets, both popular as gifts.

During the overall holiday period, the iPlayer app was downloaded nearly 1 million times, with almost 300,000 on Christmas Day.

By the end of 2012 it had been downloaded nearly 13 million times.

The BBC iPlayer bowed five years ago this Christmas.

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