BBC3 to proceed with switch to online channel

BBC is forging ahead with its youth channel moving online despite a profile campaign by UK stars.


In the latest adapt-or-die move, BBC is forging ahead with plans to move youth channel BBC3 online despite a profile campaign by stars including Aidan Turner, Olivia Colman and Daniel Radcliffe.

It looks set to close as a broadcast channel in January next year after the BBC Trust gave provisional approval to the plans.

The new service will operate on an annual budget of £30m ($AU61m) per year, down from its existing £55m ($AU112m).

The Corporation’s regulator said that the bid by BBC management to make the youth channel an online-only service offered “clear long-term potential” and would be “more distinctive than the existing BBC3 channel whose audience is currently falling”.

A report by the BBC Trust said: “Those aged 16 to 34 are already far more likely than any other group to use online video services and the BBC is right to anticipate the need to service this audience in new ways”.

There is now just a further 28 days more consultation with industry bodies and viewers before the decision is finalised.

The Trust also said that BBC1 and BBC2 formally commit to offer “space” to programming “where risks can be taken and new ideas of the sort that BBC3 has been successful in developing”.

BBC Trust Chair Rona Fairhead said: “We know young audiences are already moving towards the online future, but we do recognise in the short term some of them will feel the immediate impact of the BBC3 proposals. We are therefore asking the BBC for commitments to ensure it uses the full range of its television services to better serve young people and others who make up BBC3’s audience.”

Source: Radio Times

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