BBC’s iPlayer is a popular media streaming service used around the world. It features hot new shows, and it’s a great way to catch up on some missed television. Suffice to say, a lot of people were accessing iPlayer remotely from different countries. They were doing this through VPN service, which enabled them to change their IP address and use the streaming platform.
This VPN “trick” is an attractive way for people to get to access their content they want, and bypass corporate license blocks that restrict content based on region. You’ve seen us write about in for other providers like NFL Game Cast, or the Premier League. Now, BBC has had enough, and they are seemingly jeopardizing their UK user base to control their monetization.
iPlayer, admittedly, is meant for the UK play only. But that hasn’t stopped people from using VPN software to access the content. To stop these efforts, BBC is utilizing what I’d like to call a “nuke” approach. People trying to access the service outside of the UK are now receiving this message “BBC iPlayer TV programmes are available to play in the UK only. The nuke approach is also hitting all users of BBC that are using VPN software. That means that BBC is forcing its users within the UK to decide if they want the security of a VPN or the access of iPlayer.
Trying to explain themselves, BBC explains how they “regularly make updates to our technology to help prevent access to BBC iPlayer from outside the UK which breaks our team of use”. You might be wondering why BBC is so worried about outside access. It all has to do with attracting foreign broadcasters to buy programming from BBC. Foreign TV companies will lose interest if a large portion is already accessing the content from iPlayer. In short, it’s all about the money. A report from BBC itself cites over 60 million users access iPlayer internationally.
While the ideal solution for BBC (from a corporate monetary standpoint) would be to cut off VPN users outside of their service boundary in the UK, and not those within, they can’t adequately differentiate between VPN users outside of the UK and inside. They made a statement explaining how they “cannot support users using VPN networks, as [they] cannot be confident of the end user.” This is because of the nature of VPN. It effectively masks an IP address and can change its virtual location.
BBC doesn’t have a real solution for how it’s treating its VPN user base in the UK. It has chosen (I believe quite voluntary) to sacrifice some good will in the UK VPN community in order to maximize profits internationally. And want to know the best part?
Despite BBC’s efforts to control access to their iPlayer, TorGuard VPN still has a solution for its users.
How to Unblock BBC iPlayeblockage with TorGuard VPN:
TorGuard has already added new IP addresses for its user base that should allow you to unblock BBC iPlayer. So when you select your UK server to connect to BBC iPlayer–you shouldn’t have a problem. If somehow you manage to have issues accessing, you can always contact our 24/7 customer support, and we will provide you with a new unblocked IP address!