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BBC Four to become archive channel (p15)

Arts content moves to BBC2, BBC3 budget doubled

RW
Robert Williams Founding member London London
Surely it will have to go through a Public Value Test, as did the proposed closures of 6 Music (which helped to saved it) and BBC Three (which didn't)? Generally, the BBC find it very hard to go through with service cutbacks and closures - even the backlash over the proposed closure of the Red Button text service led to a reprieve, at least for now,
TV
iloveTV1 (previously iloveTV2304) London London
Interestingly Normal People, supposedly BBC3's newest biggest hit, has reportedly done very well online (but not sure how the figures quoted translate into an average rating), but on BBC1 they've rated quite poorly, though I suspect it was never intended for 9pm.

Personally I recorded the BBC1 airing with the intention of boxsetting the rest considering how good people said it was - and then I watched it and realised it didn't live up to the hype so letting it continue on series link and may or may not continue with it.

I do much prefer recording series to using On Demand services where I can. I actually find the iPlayer really annoying now for how they treat the end of shows - they basically use a full screen ECP nowadays which really irritates me.


They only do that for me when I’ve got to the last episode of something, and just pressing return on my remote sorts it out
CW
Charlie Wells Moderator Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
It'll be interesting to see what (if anything) is officially proposed by the BBC in the coming days.

I imagine that potentially depending on fees/cost some BBC Four programming could be repeated during the daytime on BBC Two, where currently it simulcasts the News Channel. I suspect that any attempts to close BBC Four might become politically sensitive, and that they might have more success in renaming the channel. This would potentially then make it easier if in future they wished to alter/merge/drop the BBC Three branded content in future, as there wouldn't be an odd numbering sequence of "One, Two, Four".

On a related note I wouldn't be too surprised if some of the "temporary" changes made to BBC radio due to Covid-19 will become permanent on the grounds of cost cutting.
Last edited by Charlie Wells on 14 May 2020 9:43am
"Listen, we've all got something to bring to this conversation, but from now on what I think you should bring is silence." - Rimmer
BA
Ballyboy UTV Newsline
I personally would like to see bbc three return but we don’t know. I feel BBC Four might go in the autumn.
BG
Big-G Central (East) East Midlands Today
The only programmes I watch on BBC 4 are the Friday night music docs and old TOTP episodes.

If BBC 4 does close, I wonder what the future will be for the two children channels, will they merge into one channel?

G
JO
Jonwo (previously Jonwo87)
Big-G posted:
The only programmes I watch on BBC 4 are the Friday night music docs and old TOTP episodes.

If BBC 4 does close, I wonder what the future will be for the two children channels, will they merge into one channel?

G


CBeebies and CBBC fill very different purposes so I think they're fairly safe.
MA
madmusician Central (West) Midlands Today
BBC4's purpose over the past few years seems to be music docs, hosting the annual TOTP history documentary, Eurovision semi-finals and being the home for the weekly TOTP repeats. That's mostly it. The rest of the time it's an ignored channel - I rarely hear of anyone talking about BBC 4 outside of TOTP.

Also honestly - don't underestimate the over 60's. Many I know have been starting to use streaming services more often - and even giving up traditional TV packages to switch to ones with more of a focus on streaming services.

It doesn't help that BBC One and Two don't have super strong line ups at the moment. So my feeling would be that if they can free up money and focus to revitalise the branding for One and give Two some more solid programming. Then losing Four is worth it. That's my two pennies worth anyway.

I’m really sorry, but this is obviously bollocks.

Just because you hang out (either in person or online) in circles where the TOTP repeats are discussed to death, then that doesn’t mean that they are the heartbeat of the channel.

The classical music performances and documentaries are unparalleled and cannot be lost. Where will all the televised Proms concerts be shown? I’d hope BBC Two, but given that (apart from the first and last night) not a single Proms concert has been shown on BBC One or Two for a number of years now, I sadly think that this is unlikely.

Or Tony Palmer and John Bridcut’s films, some of which are just still images with voiceover. Would they really have a place on BBC Two?

Classical music is my subject and my profession, so I am obviously closer to this genre than others but I am sure that other high arts and culture (and science) have a similar place at the heart of BBC Four and it would be a tremendous shame for this to be lost.

Whilst Radio 3 is doing wonderful work on the radio, it is sad that we will be losing its TV equivalent - unless perhaps they could use the Radio 3 brand through iPlayer to stream the Proms, other concerts and documentaries?
TR
trivialmatters
I think they need to scrap the BBC Three and BBC Four brands and focus on BBC iPlayer as the master brand.

If programmes are streaming only, then they are "on BBC iPlayer".

It was telling when they launched RuPaul's Drag Race UK - one of the biggest shows for BBC Three - that it had to be advertised as "on BBC Three, on BBC iPlayer". Really, at this stage, that sort of mixed messaging is absolutely pointless.

If it's on TV, it's on BBC One or BBC Two. Otherwise, it's on BBC iPlayer. ESPECIALLY now that iPlayer is supposedly "personalising" recommendations.

The future of linear TV channels is premieres and big event television. There is no need in this day and age for the BBC to be spreading its content thinly across three linear channels rather than having two strong ones. Anything that doesn't need to be appointment-to-view can live on iPlayer, and anything else that needs streaming (eg Proms) can be on pop-up livestreams on iPlayer. This is the reality of television consumption today.
MK
Mr Kite Granada North West Today
I think this was inevitable. In terms of OTA channels, it might be more prudent for the BBC to do less better.

To be honest, that's my opinion with TV in general. There's too many channels dividing the audience pie and thus the advertising potential and, therefore, quality. I'd rather some of the non-PSB channels went before BBC Four but there you go.
Rijowhi and all new Phil gave kudos
JA
JAS84 Yorkshire Look North (E.Yorks & Lincs)
Jonwo posted:
Big-G posted:
The only programmes I watch on BBC 4 are the Friday night music docs and old TOTP episodes.

If BBC 4 does close, I wonder what the future will be for the two children channels, will they merge into one channel?

G


CBeebies and CBBC fill very different purposes so I think they're fairly safe.
Yeah, the real question is what would happen to the 7pm-6am airtime on Cbeebies. That's where BBC Four currently is. CBBC's airtime from 9pm to 6am is unused - they extended by two hours when BBC Three stopped linear broadcasting, the rest of the time is a holding animation. Will it be the same on Cbeebies?
JK
JKDerry UTV Newsline
I think this was inevitable. In terms of OTA channels, it might be more prudent for the BBC to do less better.

To be honest, that's my opinion with TV in general. There's too many channels dividing the audience pie and thus the advertising potential and, therefore, quality. I'd rather some of the non-PSB channels went before BBC Four but there you go.

Those were the very same words used by media commentators back in 1989 when the Broadcasting Bill was first proposed by the then Thatcher government and would become law in 1990, thus starting the process of the downward spiral of television in Britain, kicking off with the disastrous ITV franchise awards in October 1991.
MA
madmusician Central (West) Midlands Today
I think this was inevitable. In terms of OTA channels, it might be more prudent for the BBC to do less better.

To be honest, that's my opinion with TV in general. There's too many channels dividing the audience pie and thus the advertising potential and, therefore, quality. I'd rather some of the non-PSB channels went before BBC Four but there you go.

It’s easy to say ‘doing less better’ but as BBC Two has become more mainstream and populist in the last 20 years the less likely it has been to commission the arts and culture documentaries and performances that BBC Four have taken on in its time. Indeed, over the last 10 to 15 years, whilst there was once a split between BBC Two and BBC Four of arts/culture (with ‘extension’ programmes, if you will being shown on BBC Four to go alongside BBC Two arts commissions) it is now all on BBC Four.

If Two will actually commission documentaries and concerts (not to mention plays, visual arts stuff etc) then I would agree with the ‘doing less better’ mantra, but I’m afraid that I see that as staggeringly unlikely as BBC Two has gone away from that mix of programmes and its current schedule seems to be doing well.

Just like when BBC Three went online, we will be losing a lot of content from the BBC and I don’t think that this content will be replicated in a different place. It will just be gone. And it’s not content that is provided by commercial broadcasters - I mean, the Global Awards’ nod to classical music was to have that godawful duet between Aled Jones and Russell Watson that veered from Italian to English and broke down in the middle when Watson forgot to come in.

We need the BBC for the arts. And BBC television might be staging a total withdrawal. I hope I’m wrong.

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