BBC Christmas VOD Chart: 'Top Gear' Beats 'Doctor Who'

Courtesy of History

The U.K. public broadcaster reports a record-breaking number of iPlayer viewing requests over the festive period

Jeremy Clarkson-hosted Top Gear ranked on top of the BBC’s Christmas charts for its on-demand service iPlayer, beating last year's champion Doctor Who.

Overall, the U.K. public broadcaster got 2.08 million iPlayer requests for the first part of Top Gear’s controversial Argentina special, which caused some diplomatic tensions. The special's second half got 1.55 million views, ranking third for the period of Dec. 22-30, according to data published by the BBC on Wednesday.

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Doctor Who, which ranked on top of the iPlayer Christmas chart for the past two years, dropped to ninth place with 1 million views. The Doctor Who Christmas special overnight ratings also fell to 8.3 million viewers from 11.1 million in 2013.

Soap opera EastEnders came in second with 1.69 million views.

Overall, the BBC said it had a record-breaking Christmas week with a total of 54.5 million iPlayer requests. It reported a record-breaking 227 million iPlayer requests for all of December, up 25 percent from the year-ago period.

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Victoria Jaye, head of TV content for the BBC iPlayer, lauded the "significant surge in BBC iPlayer usage as people all over the country unwrap new devices and take the opportunity to enjoy our terrific range of programs at a time that suits them."

Twitter: @georgszalai