'Doctor Who' Most Popular for BBC On-Demand Player During Holidays

Doctor Who 50th Two Doctors - P 2013

Doctor Who 50th Two Doctors - P 2013

The cult show was viewed nearly two million times during the holiday season in the U.K. as the BBC iPlayer audience continues to grow.

LONDON – The BBC's Doctor Who Christmas special was the most popular show over the holiday season on BBC iPlayer, the public broadcaster's on-demand service.

The show, which featured Matt Smith bowing out as the time lord, regenerating with Peter Capaldi in the role, posted just shy of two million online views.

PHOTOS: 'Doctor Who' at 50: Peter Capaldi and the 12 Men Who've Played the Doctor

The BBC also said Tuesday (Jan. 7) that requests for TV and radio programs on the platform rose by a third compared with Christmas 2012.

The rise in the number of tablet and smartphone owners, coupled with broadband uptick, is set to fuel growth in demand for such online services, according to industry experts.

The Doctor Who special scared up 1.96 million program requests on the iPlayer, according to BBC figures Tuesday.

The cult sci-fi show also topped the iPlayer Christmas viewing list in 2012 with 1.47 million requests

The BBC said it had 102 million iPlayer requests for TV and radio programs between Dec. 21, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014.

More than 80 million sought out TV, while 22 million turned in for radio shows, with the figures marking a 32 percent year-on-year rise.

The BBC noted that it measured one extra day this year compared with 2012 in calculating the 32 percent rise.

New Year's Day was the most popular day ever for the iPlayer, with 11 million program requests in total, excluding iPlayer data from Virgin Media's cable TV customers, which is as yet unavailable.