EastEnders fans have been left fearing for the show’s future after a recent announcement that the show will air as a boxset every Monday so that each week’s episodes can be viewed from 6am on BBC iPlayer.
The change comes into force on June 14 for three weeks to coincide with the scheduling chaos that the Euro 2021 football matches will bring.
But many are convinced that this could be an experiment to perhaps look at a permanent change of platform for the long running soap – and worry that it could lead to the show coming off BBC One altogether or even finish.
Digital Spy user solostar claimed: ‘It looks like the end is creaping up for EE as it starts its transition to the Iplayer only and not BBC. This will kill off ratings.’
Bass55 added: ‘The BBC are determined for EastEnders to go the way of Brookside, aren’t they? That truly started to go down the pan once C4 messed about with the schedule.
‘I’m now certain EastEnders will be off air by the end of the decade at the latest.’
Over on fansite WalfordWeb, Shamelessness stated: ‘What’s that you can hear? The death knells of EastEnders? Nails being hammered into a coffin?’
And Fyn3 said: ‘It’s a total disgrace how the BBC has treated the show. And I’m really worried about the future of the show.’
Announcing the so far temporary move for the show, producer Jon Sen appeared to suggest there was no cause for concern, stating: ‘Giving EastEnders viewers the ability to decide when they drop in on all things Albert Square is something we’re excited about. With the inevitable scheduling changes due to the Euros, something we’ll be celebrating in Walford on screen, box setting all four episodes will ensure everyone gets their dose of drama and football fans won’t miss out.
‘From indulging them all in one night, staggering across a few days or continuing to watch the episodes play out on BBC One, we hope the endless streaming options on BBC iPlayer keeps viewers content over the next few weeks.’
Releasing dramas as bingeworthy boxset is becoming a trend for many platforms including ITV, BBC and Netflix.
While less viewers are turning into live TV as a whole, the skew is favoured towards online requests and views, with EastEnders having been streamed 19.6 million times on iPlayer since September.
It remains consistently one of the highest rated shows on BBC iPlayer.
Metro.co.uk has contacted BBC representatives for further clarification.
And not everyone is against the idea either, many are in support.
It’s certainly an issue that is creating huge discussion and division among fans, so what do you think? Is it a good move?
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