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BBC Trust 'strengthens capacity' on BBC Three consultation website

The BBC Trust website has been struggling to keep up with demand following the launch of a consultation over the BBC's plans for BBC Three, BBC One+1, CBBC and iPlayer.

Late this morning, the Trust confirmed it was "strengthening capacity" resulting in a temporary outage.

Users had complained that they were struggling to complete the BBC survey, with the website crashing midway and losing previously entered answers.

The BBC Trust has released substantial amounts of information from the BBC Executive to accompany the consultation. The devil is in the detail, they say:

The main points are:
  • BBC Three will removed from traditional TV, but will continue as an online brand, but with a reduced budget
  • It will rely on hook-ups with commercial social media platforms, with commercial deals with social media platforms likely.
  • Shows like Family Guy and American Dad are expected to continue on other BBC channels "for the time being".
  • BBC Three output will be initially shown on BBC One and BBC Two late nights - but no promise to do so long term.
  • BBC One+1 will not be available to all Freeview viewers when it launches. You'll need a Freeview HD device or YouView box.
  • If you can get it, BBC One+1 will be on 24 hours a day.
  • There will be no regional variants of BBC One+1.
  • BBC One+1 will be in standard definition only, even though a Freeview HD compatible device will be initially required to receive the channel.
  • You won't be able to catch-up on EastEnders, The Voice, Sherlock or Doctor Who in HD later on or the next day as you currently can thanks to repeats on BBC Three HD.
  • CBBC will be extended to 9pm. The extra broadcast hours will be filled with cost-neutral repeats. Critics say this is despite this age group being tech savvy like much of BBC Three's audience, who are being told to go online, and CBBC's audience share consistently falling in recent years.
  • The BBC wants to be allowed to premiere more shows on the iPlayer before they appear on regular BBC TV.
  • BBC Three output will be available on the iPlayer for longer.
  • Distribution costs are unlikely to be cut as a result of the closure of BBC Three from linear TV, as the plans for BBC One+1 are likely to cancel this out. Crucially, this information is redacted from the public copies of the BBC's proposals.
  • There is "little appetite" for the closure of BBC Three, according to research commissioned by the BBC. 
  • BBC One+1 is a popular proposal, according to the same research. It is not clear whether people were told it wouldn't be available on the majority of Freeview TVs at the time of launch.


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