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'The Apprentice', 'Voice UK' drive BBC iPlayer boom in May

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The Apprentice Episode 11

© BBC / Boundless

The Apprentice and The Voice UK helped BBC iPlayer rack up another massive month in May, as the catch-up TV platform nears 200 million monthly requests.

BBC iPlayer had a total of 187m requests for television and radio programming in May across the hundreds of different devices and platforms where it is available.

The platform has now averaged 190m requests per month over the first half of 2012, breaking down as an average of 140m for TV shows and 46m for radio.

Peak usage came in January - traditionally a big month for iPlayer - when the service attracted an incredible 192m requests, coming close to the 200m milestone.

Series eight of The Apprentice dominated the most-requested television shows in May, with episodes seven (1.21m requests), eight (1.14m), nine (1.07m) and ten (1.03m) holding the top four places.

The Voice UK Live Final: Leanne is crowned winner.
The Voice UK came fifth, as the second live show of episode nine racked up 895,000 requests.

Episodes of the talent show also came in ninth (794,000), tenth (763,000) and 11th (731,000), sandwiching three episodes from the new series of Russell Howard's Good News.

Popular radio requests included The Chris Moyles Show with Will Smith (94,000) and The Chris Moyles Show Live in BBC Exeter (88,000).

But the list was topped by Radio 5 Live's coverage of Manchester City's nail-biting victory over QPR, as 139,000 tuned in on May 13 to hear the last-minute decider of the Premier League title.

In May, the majority (86%) of TV requests were for on-demand programming, while 14% tuned into iPlayer for live or 'simulcast' coverage - exactly the same breakdown as in May 2011.

However, the 24% of radio requests in May this year that were live shows was actually down on the 27% in the same month last year.

To boost live usage on iPlayer, the BBC rolled out a new Live Restart feature this week on the PC version of iPlayer, enabling users to restart live programmes rather than having to wait for them to end.






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