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BBC Executive releases first details of its plans for BBC Three

The BBC Executive have released a first glimpse of its plans to close the linear BBC Three channel and move content online, weeks before the BBC Trust is due to provide details as part of a public consultation.

In a blog post outlining the proposals, the BBC's Damien Kavanagh admitted: "We don't have all the details yet and I'm sure things will come up along the way that we want to look at."

Announcing the rationale behind the proposals, he said: "Scheduled TV will remain strong for the foreseeable but young audiences consume more on-demand content and watch less linear TV than they did four years ago. Put simply, people that watch BBC Three are more likely to be online and want new content and new forms of content, online.

"And we haven’t just made this up. We’ve spent months asking thousands of people from all walks of life how they consume media and what they want. We’ve looked at research from both industry and academics. Our conclusion is that this is the direction of travel. It’s earlier than we might have liked, but it is what we would have done in the long term to give young audiences what they tell us they want.

"New BBC Three would be built around two pillars which our audiences have told us they value, Make Me Think and Make Me Laugh.

"Make Me Think would be a mix of documentary, current affairs, news and drama that would cover topics that offer new perspectives and open people’s minds to new subjects or issues. Make Me Laugh would be centred around scripted comedy, like Uncle or Gavin & Stacey, plus personality-led entertainment that would be both provocative and edgy. "

Where would "new BBC Three" be?
The BBC confirmed that regular programmes (described in the industry as "long form") would be available on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC iPlayer and "subject to negotiations, via on-demand services on Sky, YouView, Freesat and Virgin platforms."   

Short form content would appear on social platforms like Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and sites like Buzzfeed.

BBC Director-General Tony Hall said of the proposals: “With the licence fee frozen we’ve had to make difficult decisions – and none more so than our proposal to move BBC Three online. In rising to this challenge, we’ve managed to come up one of the most exciting and ambitious proposals I’ve seen since I came back to the BBC.

“By searching out new ways to engage and entertain young audiences on their terms, the new BBC Three will be a great example of how we can reinvent the public service for the digital world - using their talent, appearing on the platforms and devices that they use and talking to them as equals and partners.”

BBC Three's current slot on Freeview, Sky, Freesat and Virgin Media would be replaced by repeats channel BBC One+1, "making programmes more available to people who do not use BBC iPlayer or have access to broadband", according to the BBC.

CBBC would be extended by two hours a day, rumoured to be running from 06:00 to 20:00 instead of the current broadcast hours of 07:00-19:00.


  1. B-blank-C Three (the middle letter no longer applies) ; I'll give it 5 years tops, before the realisation that they can't justify a production and talent budget on a 'short form' service. The disaffected target audience will catch bits on handheld screens, in between other social media distractions.
    Check the OfCom coverage maps for huge swathes of 2MB+ broadband & 3G 'not-spots' then decide to actually broadcast or close down a service. I'm off listening to Radio 3 on FM and Radio 4 Long Wave now, where are my pipe and slippers?

  2. The fault here is that the licence fee should not have been frozen. It is an absolute bargain and at a time when the BBC is taking on more costs (S4C, World Service) the licence fee should go up to match those costs plus inflation.

    1. But with more people being born and more houses being built,the bbcs income increases anyway! Plus, no need for BBC one+1


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