The BBC is fighting to convince US TV studio 20th Century Fox that the iPlayer is a safe place to show cult cartoon hit Family Guy.
The hit show could disappear from our screens when BBC3 goes online-only next year as Fox has raised concerns over iPlayer’s security levels – a row which has also affected American Dad and Elijah Wood’s comedy Wilfred.
Family Guy regularly pulls in 500,000 viewers on BBC3 and accounts for 11 of the 20 most-watched programmes on the channel.
A BBC spokesperson told Broadcast magazine: “We will be speaking to all our suppliers, following last week’s announcement. However, at the moment due to rights issues, we are unable to make Family Guy or American Dad available on BBC iPlayer.”
Danny Cohen, director of BBC Television, took to Twitter last week to tell fans: “Family Guy and American Dad are so important to BBC Three. We plan to continue showing them.”
Fox is understood to be concerned that iPlayer does not have enough security to stop users capturing shows so they can be kept for later viewing, or shared online.