iPlayer weekend outage in UK finally fixed by BBC

BBC iPlayer

The iPlayer tech issues that stopped many TV viewers from catching up on BBC programmes over the weekend have now been fixed.

The BBC confirmed the problems that blighted the service, and the BBC homepage, have now been rectified, and that it's now in the process of investigating the cause.

"BBC iPlayer, BBC iPlayer Radio and other parts of BBC Online that were affected by problems over the weekend are now up and running," a spokesperson told BBC News.

"Our teams continue to investigate the problem to ensure this doesn't happen again."

Once this investigation is complete, the spokesperson said more details about what caused the glitch will be published on a BBC blog.

Sequence of events

Viewers first experienced issues accessing content via iPlayer and the BBC homepage on Saturday morning, with many taking to social networking site Twitter to query what was going on.

Users that tried to access the home page at this time were greeted by an error messaging, explaining that "due to technical problems" only a simplified version of the BBC homepage could be displayed.

Meanwhile, iPlayer users were notified by a similar message that the service was temporarily unavailable because of an unspecified technical problem.

The online service is seen as one of the jewels in the BBC's digital crown, and is widely lauded by TV viewers for the breadth of programming including TV, radio and exclusive online-only content it broadcasts.

The BBC repeatedly apologised for the issues via its iPlayer Twitter account, as the problems persisted through to Sunday and yesterday.

Apologies. We know some users are still unable to access @BBCiPlayer. We're working hard to resolve the issues. Thanks for your patience.BBC iPlayer (@BBCiPlayer) July 20, 2014

On Monday morning, many Twitter users were still reporting problems catching up on popular shows, such as The Archers radio omnibus, EastEnders, Springwatch and the final round of The Open golf tournament.

What's up with the BBC website then? Homepage been out of action for a couple of days now by my reckoning.Edward Lamb (@edwardlamb) July 21, 2014

Many of the social media complaints made about the outage were from people asking whether they would be entitled to a licence fee refund as a result of the outage.

@BBCiPlayer STILL no iplayer. Could you at least keep us informed on the situation #licencepayerAnna (@77anna) July 21, 2014

Meanwhile, others have asked whether the BBC will extend the amount of time content is available to view on iPlayer as a result of the outage.

This article was published on 21 July and updated on 22 July to reflect iPlayer has now been fixed.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.