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BBC aware of iPlayer app access problem for island’s Android users

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ANDROID users are struggling to access the BBC iPlayer app due to a problem with how Google classifies Guernsey.

Android users are struggling to access the BBC iPlayer app due to a problem with how Google classifies Guernsey. Picture: LEON GATELEY. (26068482)

Anyone trying to watch BBC programmes on an Android device, which includes phones made by Google, Samsung, LG and Nokia, will find it difficult to do so in Guernsey.

The BBC Media Player and iPlayer apps do not appear in the Google Play app store in Guernsey.

If they are accessed through a link, it states ‘This item is not available in your country’.

A BBC spokesman said they were aware of the problem.

‘While there’s no issue with our IP geolocation system, there is an issue with the way that Google classifies Guernsey,’ they said.

‘The Channel Islands are classified by Google as ‘‘rest of the world’’ in the Google Play store, which includes lots of places around the world where we don’t have the rights to provide the iPlayer app. That means we can’t provide the iPlayer app to Guernsey residents without also providing it to all the residents of those other places as well, which we’re not allowed to do.’

The problem also results in islanders seeing adverts in their BBC news app.

Channel Islanders have to pay for a television licence if they watch or record programmes as they are being shown on television or live on an online TV service or if they download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer.

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This applies to all devices, including televisions, desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, games consoles, digital boxes or DVD/VHS recorders.

The BBC said the problem did not affect people using Apple or Amazon devices.

‘It’s a Google issue, and one that we have asked them to address, as we are keen to provide the app to Android users in the Channel Islands,’ they said.

It is understood the problem also affects Isle of Man users.

Islanders can download the app while they are elsewhere in the UK and it will work as normal when they are back in Guernsey.

Google has been asked for a comment.

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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