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BBC to launch BBC One +1

The BBC's Director General Tony Hall has this morning revealed plans to launch a timeshift version of BBC One, the first such timeshift channel for the BBC. The channel will launch on a number of digital platforms.

Full details of when and how BBC One+1 will be available to licence fee payers will be revealed "in due course", according to the broadcaster's press office.

The move comes as a surprise. Until now +1 channels have only been favoured by commercial broadcasters, eager to exploit a low-cost way of increase viewing figures and advertising revenues. Channel 4 became the first of the main channels to offer a +1 channel in 2007.

The news has received a mixed reaction on social networks, with some licence fee payers pointing out they already have the option to watch a timeshifted BBC One on the iPlayer, whereas others have welcomed the news as a way to avoid programme clashes.

Emma Scott, Freesat's Managing Director said: "The announcement today that BBC One will launch a +1 channel on Freesat is fantastic news for our 4 million viewers as we continue to add new channels and On Demand services, plus invest in cutting edge technology."

Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One said: "This is brilliant news for BBC One viewers. It means the content we pay for delivers even more value for audiences. In a world of increased choice, +1 will enable licence fee payers to have even more access to our broad range of programmes every day."

BBC One+1: the technical aspect
From a technical point of view, it's still not clear where the service would fit on Freeview, where the BBC has already filled its available multiplex capacity and where BBC radio and BBC Alba are already forced to share capacity in Scotland due to capacity restraints. Any inclusion of the channel on the BBC's Freeview multiplex would require technical changes, such as a new encoder. D3&4 - the multiplex carrying itv, C4 and C5 upgraded its encoders earlier this year to allow nine channels to run simultaneously on the multiplex. The BBC currently only carries 7 TV channels simultaneously, but does require additional space for radio and data services.

The announcement also raises the question which channel number BBC One+1 will get - as a public service broadcaster (PSB) channel, it will be eligible to leapfrog other channels on the Freeview channel list, which may prove controversial among commercial broadcasters eager to get a better channel number.

On satellite, the BBC would have to hire additional satellite capacity if it was planning to offer full regionality on BBC One+1, otherwise the service would consist of a nationwide 'main network' version. If the itv+1 channel is anything to go by, a single network for the whole of the UK would soon prompt complaints from some viewers unable to catch-up on their regional news programmes. Meanwhile, news on how BBC One HD will become fully regionalised is due in the coming months.

And the BBC might find early morning viewers getting a little confused based on itv's experience: analysis of Twitter shows that Daybreak viewers are often caught out by the Daybreak clock being an hour out, blissfully unaware they are in fact watching itv+1... 

Article updated 15:43 & 16:35 08/10/2013


  1. I regularly use the +1 channels particularly during the week as peak time viewing often clashes with the childrens bedtime. ITV and channels 4 + 5 have got their act together it's about time the BBC followed suit. Good news.

  2. There be those out there "why +1 when there is catch up already" +1 has an use when there is a clash.

    BBC One HD England needs to at a minimum (BBC One HD England regions have not be agreed yet) create for 6:30pm (+1 7:30pm) a 30 minute "England Tonight" with for the shortest of bulletin such as breakfast using London (or North West) (similar to previously BBC News 24 had a national round up of regional news between 6:30-7pm)

    It be interesting how many BBC One +1 they end up broadcasting - one version like BBC One HD prior increasing to 4 versions, the 4 (nations) or the BBC version of ITV (SD) +1 for each region opportunity (at least 17!)

    With Channel 4 having incorrect priorities (Channel 4+1 HD and 4 Seven HD) in favor in my opinion of more priority HD E4, Film4 or More 4 it only time someone suggest the BBC and ITV +1s go HD as well!

    It be better for the those who provide little variation of "opt out" to the schedule (BBC England) and even more so ITV with Regionalised PSB National Networks - namely ITV and BBC1 and BBC Two - at least for England the introduction of an spectrum economising measure perhaps "Press (colour)" prompt that when local news (or politics) which switch to SD (+0hr) or streamed HD that available "live" and the catchup version (iPlayer/ITV Player) in SD and HD one hour timeshift.

    With BBC One +1, its only time Two, Three, Four, and both children channels get an +1!

    BBC One +1 with Eastenders at 8:30/9pm there need of the BBC Three's Eastenders 'repeat' at 10:30pm could come into question! (BBC Three could perhaps increase films)

    1. "With Channel 4 having incorrect priorities (Channel 4+1 HD and 4 Seven HD) in favor in my opinion of more priority HD E4, Film4 or More 4 it only time someone suggest the BBC and ITV +1s go HD as well!"

      E4, Film4 and More 4 HD are all under carriage agreements with Sky and/or Virgin, so it's not really C4 having incorrect priorities. They just can't provide those channels at the moment. At least they're providing more HD content to Freeview, and a lot of E4/More 4 content will appear on 4seven HD.


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