The Tourist, The Responder and Peaky Blinders help BBC iPlayer achieve its strongest ever quarter

Peaky Blinders Series Six

New dramas including The Tourist, The Responder, This is Going to Hurt, The Rules of the Game, and Chloe helped BBC iPlayer record its best quarter ever. January to March saw iPlayer’s strongest start to a year ever – with viewers streaming programmes a record 1.83 billion times in the first three months. These figures are in addition to the millions of viewers who enjoyed these gripping dramas on broadcast TV.

Other big hits included returning favourites The Apprentice, Peaky Blinders and Killing Eve, as well as strong performances for The Winter Olympics and new natural history series The Green Planet.

New figures also show the BBC had the highest weekly reach of any provider during the first quarter of 2022 – with millions tuning in to watch programmes on broadcast TV as well as record-breaking viewing on iPlayer.

Latest iPlayer data shows:

Viewers streamed programmes a record 1.83 billion times in the first three months of the year, 100 million more times than in the same period last year

Jamie Dornan’s Australian outback mystery series The Tourist provided the year’s most popular individual episode so far, with the first episode streamed 6.1 million times, and the boxset streamed 32 million times

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New dramas The Responder (5.2m streams), This is Going to Hurt (4m streams), Four Lives (3.8m streams), The Rules of the Game (3.5m streams) and Chloe (3.2m streams) also make the top ten episodes per series of the quarter

Lord Sugar’s return in The Apprentice is the year’s biggest boxset so far, streamed 33 million times, with Peaky Blinders (30m streams), the Winter Olympics (29m streams), and Killing Eve (15m streams) also making the top 10.

The record start to 2022 follows iPlayer’s best year ever – with 6.5 billion programmes streamed in 2021, up 12 per cent on 2020.

BBC iPlayer also has a new look and feel, making it easier to use and navigate to find the content viewers love and enjoy, on TV, mobile, or we

Earlier this month it was announced that more boxsets than ever would be made available to watch on iPlayer in the BBC’s centenary year, including classics like The Young Ones, Blackadder, Mum, 2pointfour Children, and Rev.

Dan McGolpin, director of BBC iPlayer, says: “BBC iPlayer is more popular than ever in 2022 and the rollout of a more modern look has helped the service to notch-up its best ever quarter across the first three months. A formidable and thrilling collection of brand new drama series feature heavily on the most-watched programme lists with The Tourist narrowly ahead of The Responder in first position for top episode and there has been a breath-taking choice available from the Winter Olympics to Green Planet, so it was fantastic to see the long-awaited return of The Apprentice make the top slot for total viewing across a full series. Together with the last-ever instalments of Peaky Blinders and Killing Eve landing towards the end of the quarter, two of iPlayer’s most popular programmes of all time, there really is something for everyone whether you’re in the mood for classic boxsets or brand new shows.”

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BBC iPlayer’s top ten most-watched episodes per series between January and March 2022 are:
1. The Tourist Episode 1 6.1m
2. The Responder Episode 1 5.2m
3. Peaky Blinders Black Day 5.1m
4. The Apprentice Cruise Ship 4.4m
5. This Is Going To Hurt Episode 1 4m
6. Four Lives Episode 1 3.8m
7. Rules of the Game Episode 1 3.5m
8. Killing Eve Just Dunk Me 3.2m
9. Chloe Episode 1 3.2m
10. The Green Planet Tropical Worlds 3m

BBC iPlayer’s most-watched boxsets between January and March 2022* are:
1. The Apprentice 33m
2. The Tourist 32m
3. Peaky Blinders 3 0m
4. Winter Olympics 29m
5. Death in Paradise 23m
6. Call the Midwife 22m
7. This Is Going To Hurt 20m
8. The Responder 18m
9. Killing Eve 15m
10. Dragons’ Den 14m

*Excluding continuing series like EastEnders, news and children’s content

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.