What’s on BBC iPlayer Now?

Of course, this article will be out of date shortly but not quite as quickly as you’d imagine.  When the BBC iPlayer first launched the majority of programmes where only available for thirty days and indeed many for much less than that.  Today t he standard length for a programme is three months, so that’s over 90 days to watch from the day it was broadcast.

Although there are some exceptions, for example Match of the Day on BBC iPlayer is available for much less time, due to licensing restrictions with the Premier League.   The vast majority is available for three months and some even longer.   Indeed at the end of 2017 the BBC launched a new section called From the Archive  featuring shows from the BBC vast archive from 1946!   It’s truly a treasure trove of TV programmes, and I guarantee you’ll find some nostalgic gold if you browse through some of the programmes available there.

What's on BBC iPlayer

There’s some incredible shows from history there all available completely free of charge.  In fact at any one time there will be 450 titles from the archive regularly rotated.  Many of the shows are award wining, such as Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekend series, some great episodes of Storyville, old Dr Who episodes – pick your favorite Doctor and many others.

BBC documentaries are particularly well featured and include programmes from Horizon and broadcasting legends like David Frost, David Attenborough and Michael Parkinson.  There are historical and sporting documentaries from the past decades of BBC television.

What’s on BBC iPlayer Now? 

It’s difficult to classify the entire range of TV shows which are available on the BBC iPlayer archive at any time. Remember firstly you can watch any show without restrictions when it’s on live, obviously if you’re using a VPN to watch BBC abroad  then you need to remember any time differences.  I’ve often logged in to watch News at Ten or Newsnight on BBC 2 to discover it’s already gone.  This is unfortunate as the news is one programme which isn’t archived for months (perhaps with good reasons).

Currently streaming in the Entertainment section are The Apprentice, the famous reality show, Strictly Come Dancing, Michael McIntyre and the very popular Mrs Brown’s Boys.   My personal favorite is the Political Quiz ‘Have I Got News for You’ which is well worth watching if you like your comedy tinged with a little politics.

There are always loads of different documentaries on the various BBC channels but some of the best at the moment include one about Tina Turner, a great one called School which follows a real comprehensive school through the eyes of teachers, pupils and parents.  There’s the new Theroux series called Altered States which covers some unusual situations, I’d recommend the one called Choosing Death which meets people preparing to end their own lives – it’s sad but important TV.  If you’re interested in the UK in any way then I can also recommend a Box set called Inside the Foreign Office which is just as the title implies a visit to the people who run Britain’s Foreign Offices across the world.

Another interesting documentary is from Storyville entitled the Hurt Locker Hero about a bomb disposal expert called Fakhir Berwari who disarmed thousands of landmines in Iraq usually only using a pocket knife and a pair of wire clippers – it’s got 28 days left on the BBC iPlayer and is well worth catching up with.

Obviously all our TV watching habits and preferences will vary but speaking for myself I generally watch the News live twice a day and also Newsnight on weekdays.  I am normally in another country using a VPN but have got used to remembering to include the time difference.  I also watch a couple of documentaries a week – there are literally hundreds on there at any time and of course all up to the BBC’s world leading standard.

I’ll usually pick a random one from the lists but do tend to follow a few box sets including those by Simon Reeve, you can still currently access his shows on Russia, the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean.  One of the other must sees is the huge collection of David Attenborough Box sets.   If you’re outside the UK and trying to justify the small expense of a VPN then here’s one justification – at the moment you can watch a whole host of the best of these sets which would literally cost you hundreds if  you bought all the DVDs.   The list will change whenever you read this, but here’s a selection which are currently on the BBC iPlayer –

Planet Earth  – documentary series celebrates the planet’s natural glory and how the suns seasonal journey affects the lives of all living creatures.

Blue Planet I and II – possibly the greatest wildlife documentary to cover the planet’s oceans, took years to produce and has won countless awards,

Africa – documentary series covering the wildlife of the world’s most exciting continent.

Planet Earth II – David Attenborough visiting some of the world’s most remote islands to see some of the planet’s rarest creatures.

To complete some of my viewing options I enjoy Dr Who, you can watch the latest series but also catch up with many of the earlier programmes on the archive.  I also enjoy Match of the Day and the occasional comedy show and even a few soaps when I’m in the mood.

There is so much it’s impossible to detail it all here but I would urge anyone to check out the new BBC iPlayer archive. It’s huge and what’s more isn’t packed full of ‘filler programmes’ like the vast majority of Cable and Satellite packages.  In my opinion it’s far superior to the full Sky package which costs around £70 a month to enjoy last time I checked.

The only limitations are perhaps blockbuster movies and some top level of sporting events which the BBC has failed to obtain licenses for.  However these are all easily sourced from other places, so it’s no real hardship.

Wherever you are in the world, it’s worth checking out the BBC’s vast archive, especially if you’re somewhere where the standard of broadcasting is not as great as the United kingdom.  If you’re outside the UK then you will need some method to hide your IP address like a VPN however it’s not difficult and it only costs a few Euros/dollars for a fast service which can gain you instant access.

BBC Ryder Cup Coverage from Abroad

Unfortunately, the BBC no longer has the live broadcast rights to the Ryder Cup.  They lost them in 2013 when the costs simply became unjustifiable for a public broadcaster. From this point the UK rights were bought out Sky who have invested heavily in most major sports events.   The Ryder cup is held once every two years, alternating between Europe and the USA, Sky created specific TV channels for the event in 2014 onwards.

The BBC do still pay for a highlights package and for the non-golf fanatic then it’s a great option usually broadcast the evening of each day.  However for many it’s simply not enough, fortunately you should be able to find coverage in most European countries and across North America pretty easily.  For the full live coverage, NBC have the current US rights in 2018 and have had for over twenty years.

However if you’re in a country where you can’t watch the Ryder Cup then you can get access using a VPN or Smart DNS system.  Using these you can effectively bypass any country restriction – so you can watch NBC from outside the US or enjoy the BBC highlights by using a UK server.

Accessing BBC Ryder Cup Coverage from Abroad

These services allow you to switch your location at will, both the VPN and Smart DNS should allow you to watch all UK television.  They can certainly give you access to the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 without any restrictions.  You can also access services like Sky as well although you will need a subscription in addition to a service to hide your location.  Sky can be quite expensive and you normally have to subscribe for a year to get the best deals.  Although it’s worth checking out NOW TV which offers the facility to get Sky Sports for a shorter period like a single month.

Remember you will need a UK VPN or a DNS service to subscribe to the subscription services too. A rather ridiculous state of affairs considering you’re paying for a product that disappears when you cross a national boundary.  However if you’re just on holiday for a short while then you can try out this free trial of a BBC VPN, it will last for 14 days so perfect if you’re travelling for a short time like a holiday.

All that happens is that your connection is routed through the country selected. SO if you want any of the UK TV channels like the BBC then you’d select a UK server, if you want a US channel you’d pick a server based in the US and so on. There’s no real complication and you’re certainly not doing anything even vaguely illegal, merely using a security service to encrypt and maintain your privacy.

The advantage of the Smart DNS system for the BBC is that it doesn’t slow your connection down. Instead of routing everything through a single connection it merely does enough to hide your location and streams the rest directly. IT means there’s no impact on your network speed, whereas the VPN will slow your connection down quite considerably in some situations.
At the worst you can use this as a free trial of BBC iPlayer plus it also gives you a decent chance to use it before you make up your mind.

Click here to try – Totally Free trial

Best VPN to Watch BBC iPlayer

The BBC has one of the most popular websites in the world.  If you’ve ever browsed the programmes that are on it then you’ll not be surprised – world class news, comedy, drama, sports and current affairs shows broadcast live directly to the site and then archived for thirty days after.  In any month you can easily watch hundreds of dollars of content all for nothing.   Remember shows like Blue Planet 2 took years to complete and millions to produce and you could watch it all for nothing on the BBC website.

All nine of the BBC’s TV channels broadcast online indeed one of the BBC four is only available online now anyway.   Here’s the list of what’s broadcasting live at the moment –

Best VPN to Watch BBC iPlayer

That’s nine channels mostly broadcasting twenty four hours a day, packed with fantastic programmes for anyone to enjoy.  In reality if you like British TV, you can forget Amazon Prime, Netflix or Hulu – the BBC has everything you need online anyway for nothing.

Unfortunately though there is an issue if you’re based outside of the UK – simply put, you won’t be able to access any of these shows due to a system called geo-blocking.   This is the rather mean concept of blocking access based on their physical location.  Which in effect means that the BBC website will restrict access to anyone who is trying to access from anywhere outside the UK.   Indeed if you try and visit the BBC website from another country, you’ll actually see a completely different version of the site one created specifically for international audiences (but without all the video and TV streaming functionality).

Here’s what it look likes, the international versions of the BBC:

The site is similar but has more internationally based news content however crucially you’ll also notice that the BBC iPlayer and the ‘TV’ link are both missing from the top of the menu bar. There is no online media streaming facilities available on the international version at all.  Basically it’s nowhere near as good as the domestic site, yet this is the version you will find yourself at if your IP address is registered in any country other than the UK.

Which is why people have been using various services to hide their real IP address and location for many years.   It’s known as the BBC iPlayer VPN workaround and it’s used by millions of people across the world.  It’s not just used for British TV for expats either, all sorts of people use this method to access the BBC.

By pretending to be in the UK then you can get full access to the BBC website including BBC iPlayer irrespective of their real location.   The basic method involves routing your internet connection through something called a VPN (virtual private network) server based in the United Kingdom.  When you connect to the BBC it only sees the IP address of Confused about trying to access the BBC from abroad. Here’s the best VPN to watch BBC iPlayer available.the BBC and therefore everything works perfectly.

What’s the Best VPN to Watch BBC iPlayer ?

Although there are lots of these secure VPN services around which you can use to access the BBC from anywhere, there are a couple of important points to consider. Firstly during 2016/2017 the BBC has clamped down on the use of these services and started to block the most obvious and badly configured of these.   If you look online you’ll probably see lots of reports and posts about BBC iPlayer blocking VPN services.  Although this is true, to be honest all the best ones still work fine.

The ones which openly advertised or flooded their servers with too many users where easy to detect and the BBC blocked hundreds of them. So obviously it’s important to choose a service that still works! Here’s one of them in action.

As you can see it’s not actually difficult to use particularly on a PC or laptop. You basically just click on the country you need, e.g. UK for the BBC, which then routes all your internet traffic through that server. While you are connected to the UK VPN then you will appear to every website as a UK based internet user. Which means that you can also access all the other UK websites which are also normally blocked like ITV, Channels 4 and 5 plus Sky if you have an active subscription. Indeed people also use these VPN services to access other sites while travelling – for example you can access betting sites like Betfair which are normally restricted to the UK too.

The second most important factor for any VPN service if you’re going to use it for watching TV online is not surprisingly speed.  In fact this is one of the biggest variants between the decent VPN services and all the others.  There  are many really cheap VPN providers who keep their prices low by overloading their servers with thousands of concurrent users.  Not only does this make them more likely to be blocked by companies like the BBC it also make streaming video a very painful process indeed.

What happens if the VPN server is too slow is that the video stream will constantly buffer, that is stall while it tries to download the next frames.    It’s incredibly irritating to watch and you should steer clear of these cheap VPN services unless you’re prepared to download all the shows you need and watch them offline later.  This is of course one option if you’re prepared to plan your viewing in advance, be careful though that not all the BBC programmes are available for offline viewing and the other UK TV channels don’t currently offer this facility.

In our experience over the last decade, then there’s one VPN service which offers speed, security and works perfectly with all online UK TV channels plus it doesn’t cost a fortune and it’s called Identity Cloaker. In our opinion it’s the best VPN to watch BBC iPlayer so if you want to watch UK TV channels from anywhere in the world then give it a try.

It’s best to try the short trial first to see if it works well for you.

Click here to try the cheap trial of Identity Cloaker

There’s no contract or sneaky recurring subscription and it’s perfect for using on a short holiday or business trip. I’m confident you’ll love it, I’ve used it for nearly a decade in countries all across the world.

How to Watch Match of the Day Online from Anywhere

There are of course, lots of arguments about which is the most exciting football league in the world. However for an English speaker there’s surely only one contender for the best football show and that has to be the daddy of them all – Match of the Day.

The name was actually first used in 1964 for a programme about Wimbledon and tennis. However later in that year, in August 1964 it was used as the title of a football show – the show we now know as Match of the Day. The first televised match broadcast was from Anfield and featured highlights of Liverpool versus Arsenal.

Match of the Day Online

Over the years, it has of course had lots of different commentators and pundits but the format has usually stayed pretty much the same.  There are exceptions though as for a period of time from 1988 into the 1990’s the BBC lost the right to broadcast the regular Saturday evening highlights.  The programme did continue but only covered FA cup and some International games during that time.   Indeed it wasn’t until 2003 that the BBC was again able to obtain the rights to highlights and Match of the Day returned to it’s normal Saturday evening slot covering the days Premiership matches.

Can I Watch Match of the Day Online?

For years, Match of the Day was excluded from the BBC’s online coverage due to the changing broadcasting rights. However recently that’s changed and now you can watch Match of the Day live when it broadcasts. It is then made available on the BBC iPlayer archive from midnight on Sunday but only for a few days. The sister programme Match of the Day 2 usually covering midweek matches is also available live and on the iPlayer twenty four hours later.  As you can see they aren’t left on the site for long, so don’t expect to be able to go back and watch matches from a couple of weeks ago.  There is often a Match of the Day repeat on the following early morning if you want to watch it quickly too.

Match of the Day stream abroad

Of course, these are all subject to change year by year – but hopefully Match of the Day will retain the rights to broadcast on a Saturday night at least. Unfortunately for those people abroad, the BBC iPlayer is not normally accessible however there is a workaround demonstrated below.    The method works for Match of the Day live stream and to access or download the programme from the iPlayer archive after.

Not only can you use for accessing the domestic BBC site to stream both live it also allows you to download too although the time restrictions still apply.  It works perfectly for Match of the Day as long as you remember their slightly less accessible than all the other programmes.   Lots of people outside the UK use a VPN to enjoy Match of the Day live on a Saturday night though! All it’s doing is hiding your real location in order to bypass the country blocks and filters used by the BBC website.

Remember if you select a UK server then it will unblock any UK TV channels available online including ITV Hub, Channels 4, 5 and even Sky Go if you have a subscription.

So if you want to watch Match of the Day online from outside the United Kingdom then you’ll need to invest in a similar VPN program.  There are many around, but beware as only a few still work with the BBC as they blocked thousands during 2017.   Make sure you check on a short trial first to make sure it works both for streaming live TV and using the BBC iPlayer.

My personal favorite and the program I’ve been using for over ten years to watch MOTD online is called Identity Cloaker working perfectly with the BBC iPlayer abroad and indeed all the major media sites.

Try the 10 Day Trial here

BBC News Streaming Abroad

For many people there is only one definitive online source of news and that’s the BBC.  Although it’s often criticised for media  bias, in reality the BBC is one of the few genuine news channels which doesn’t have a political agenda.   After the latest updates to the BBC News online section, the available news coverage on the internet has improved greatly.

You can still watch the BBC News broadcasts live through the ‘TV’ tab including the BBC1 broadcast and the dedicated news channel.  However if you miss this, the various broadcasts stay up for 24 hours before they are deleted.  This means that you have until 1pm the next day to watch a specific lunchtime news broadcast.   The main BBC News channel is available here – BBC News Channel and from here you get links to the TV pages where you can stream live and the iPlayer where old news broadcasts are archived.

BBC News Streaming Abroad

In addition to the main BBC News channels, there are over 50 regional stations which cover local news issues from different regions of the United Kingdom.  You can customize this option by specifying a region in the bottom left corner of the BBC Live TV page – like this:

If you change your location here, then you’ll get the corresponding local News station.  This is also useful for people who get the wrong local version of the news broadcast through the position of their aerial.   Many media boxes now have the facility to watch BBC iPlayer too so this is a further option for people who wish to change their preferred local news.

The BBC is introducing mandatory login on the site in the next few months so your regional preferences will be stored in this account too.

How to Watch BBC News Streaming Abroad

Of course, all these options are not available if you connect from outside the UK.  You’ll be redirected to the ‘International version’ of the site which contains none of the live streaming or archived programmes simply static content.  there are a few snippets on the BBC news live video section on Youtube, but no regular news.  The BBC site determines your location based on your IP address which it checks when you visit the site, your options are then restricted if this address is based outside the United Kingdom.

The solution is quite straight forward in order to get full access to all the BBC channels and to allow BBC News streaming abroad then you need to hide your true location.  There used to be a few different options for doing this but over the years many of these have disappeared.   For example you used to be able to find a free UK proxy online and use that to hide your location.

Nowadays you’ll need to get a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service which has a UK based server in order to watch the BBC live stream and archived programmes.   If you enable this connection before you visit the BBC site then you’ll be treated as a UK based surfer with full access to the site including iPlayer.  This is because the BBC will see the IP address of the server and not your real one, as long as the VPN server is based in the UK then it will work perfectly.

It will also enable all the other British TV stations so you can watch Sky News live as well as the BBC News world service.   There is also of course, a really good news services on ITV which has actually won some awards which you’ll find broadcast over the ITV hub pages.

Be careful when selecting a UK VPN service to access the BBC, many of them have now been blocked and no longer work.  This is our recommendation for an inexpensive, reliable and fast VPN service which will allow you to watch BBC News streaming abroad.

Try the trial first to ensure it’s the right option for you, the software installs on a PC or laptop or you can set up the VPN connections manually on smartphones and tablets – it’s very simple and takes a minute or two.  Don’t forget there are servers in lots of other countries included too, try the US one for CNN World News or you can get the Al Jazeera news station broadcast through several countries IP addresses.

Click here to try the cheap trial of Identity Cloaker

It will let you watch BBC news streaming abroad and all the UK TV channels, there’s no automatic contract or sneaky recurring subscription and it’s perfect for expats or simply for a short holiday or business trip.