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Wednesday, 20 May 2020

BBC Considers Revival of Axed Channel

In response to a well publicised decline in young adult viewers, the BBC is actively considering the revival of a channel it axed only four years ago.

BBC Three, which has a target audience of 16 to 34-year-olds, disappeared from the airwaves in February 2014. The channel didn't vanish completely, but instead adopted a much reduced, exclusively online, on-demand format available via the BBC iPlayer.

The channel's remit "is to bring younger audiences to high quality public service broadcasting through a mixed-genre schedule of innovative UK content featuring new UK talent".

To give it its due BBC Three has shown some very popular programmes over its relatively short lifespan - so much so that last year the BBC decided to earmark part of the BBC One schedule for the regular broadcasting of BBC Three programmes.

At the same time as making swingeing cuts across its news operation, the national broadcaster has decided to double BBC Three's budget to £80 million over the next two years.

It hopes that the extra funding will enable BBC Three to commission enough programming to fill conventional linear TV schedule, the quality of which will hook in younger audience members.

"BBC Three has become home to some of our biggest shows," a BBC source told the Guardian.

"We need to back that success, so within an environment where we are making difficult cuts, this is one of a limited number of areas where we will seek to invest. Who wouldn’t want more Fleabags, Killing Eves, This Country or Normal People?"

BBC Three's new budget will be almost twice that of BBC Four's £44 million, as rumours circulate that the arts and culture channel could face the threat of closure.

BBC Four attracts a small, niche audience of mostly older viewers to its schedule of shows, although it was responsible for creating the hit comedy The Thick of It.

"This is not about playing off BBC Four against BBC Three," said a BBC source.

"Contrary to reports, the BBC has no plans to close it or diminish our arts portfolio."

So everyone can breathe a collective sigh of relief that they'll still be able to enjoy those same tired old repeats of Juliet Bravo and Yes Minister!

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John Galt said...

It hopes that the extra funding will enable BBC Three to commission enough programming to fill conventional linear TV schedule, the quality of which will hook in younger audience members.

Which is exactly where they are going wrong. Kids don't watch linear TV schedules, that's fallen by the wayside with the YouTube and Netflix consuming generation. They consume content, they do not follow a schedule.

They would be better off keeping BBC Four as a branded channel for BBCiPlayer delivered content and then just broadcasting the best of BBC Four on the remaining BBC channels at an appropriate timeslot or allocating a timeslot where BBC Two hands over to BBC Four from 11PM to 2AM or something.

Trying to resurrect BBC Four as a broadcast channel is a waste of time, money and bandwidth. All it illustrates is that the BBC management still do not understand that their medium has been transformed by the likes of YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime and the rest in a way that will not change back.

Yet the BBC still keeps trying to force feed the rapidly diminishing pool of TV License payers the same old derivative garbage and tired retreads.

The BBC needs to have its TV license funding cut off and forced to exist in the same privatised world as Netflix and the rest. When they are reliant upon subscriber / advertising revenue for their daily bread then they will have no choice but to pay attention to their viewers, which will hopefully correct some of the most egregious leftwing bias...or they go bust...I have no problem living in a world without the BBC.

Admin said...

Thanks for your comment John, which I fully endorse.
I think you mean BBC Three, not BBC Four - BBC Four is still living and breathing (albeit on life support).

Anonymous said...

They are trying to justify the unjustifiable, BBC 3 scheduled for people who think Broadcast TV is a waste of time, won't view it as they have no TV tuned in or Satellite dish connected. its WiFi or ethernet cable all the way, viewing on devices for their target audience.

Unknown said...

Let me give a view from the other side.
I must be the odd one out here because I enjoy BBC Four and I am 35 years old. I have been watching BBC Four for old TOTP (which takes me back to happier times when my Grandad was alive and because I love music) and I also like some of its space coverage.
Now, whether that means it can be justified to the license payer is up to the consumer. I feel the argument is slightly weak when it comes to "I like this, I like that" because we all like different things. I have never seen BBC Four advertised either onscreen or BBC radio and if they did this after an advertising campaign and still come back to the same result, who knows?
BBC Three on the other hand I enjoyed to an extent. It was evident to me when I was in my 20s that the BBC was trying to preach to me that we live in this utopian world where all races, creeds, sexualities live together as one. As if "We Are The World" by various artists was written exclusively for it some 17 years before its launch and that, I believe is another issue.
I used to defend the BBC, their news, weather and as a child growing up watched amazing programes like Noel's House Party, Live & Kicking and so on but since about 2015 I started noticing that the BBC was no longer preaching in secret, they were blatantly obvious about it. As a younger person, even much younger in my teens, I didn't like being preached to and I doubt very much that most young adults to.
There's my rant for what it's worth. After following "T.V. Licensing Blog" on Twitter for a while, I have just found the site, oddly, and have now liked it on Facebook. You might not all like me no more because of my above first post lol, however, I must type what I feel and feel that I must raise my hand and say I don't fit into that demographic for BBC Four but enjoy programs on it.