BBC iPlayer Help

Why aren't all programmes available?

We can’t always acquire iPlayer rights for every programme we broadcast. This is sometimes due to the cost involved in acquiring licences from third parties or maybe for other legal or contractual reasons. And sometimes we’ll only be able to acquire the rights to stream a programme, but not to download it. 

Here are some of the types of programmes that can be subject to rights restrictions:

  • Film and sport – Sometimes rights agreements mean sporting events are only available for streaming on BBC iPlayer (not for downloading). In some programmes, we may have to remove sporting footage for which we haven’t been able to acquire the rights.
  • Imported programmes – Programmes from overseas may not be available because our agreement with the rights holder doesn’t extend to putting them on BBC iPlayer.
  • Specific episodes in a series – Very occasionally, certain episodes from a series may not be available while others are. This is because we haven’t been able to acquire the rights for those individual episodes.
  • News Magazine Programmes – Some news magazine programmes (BBC Breakfast for example) are unavailable in BBC iPlayer for rights reasons.

The guidance within this FAQ also applies to the iPlayer Kids app.

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