The BBC Trust has formally approved proposals to move BBC Three online, and has set conditions to ensure that younger audiences continue to be well served, in its final decision on a package of proposals from the BBC published today.
Trustees concluded that that there is clear public value in moving BBC Three online, as independent evidence shows younger audiences are watching more online and watching less linear TV. The move will also contribute to the significant savings the BBC is currently making.
The decision follows a detailed and rigorous assessment that began in January 2015, which has included two public consultations, audience research, and a wide range of independent evidence.
"Coming up at 11.35 on BBC One, a PSB documentary from Stacey Dooley that nobody will watch"
In some respect putting BBC Three content after the 10:40pm programme on BBC One is already happening. Glancing at the schedules on Friday (BBC Three's) Josh is being repeated on BBC One at 11:20pm. I suspect similar slots will be reserved for BBC Three repeats, along with post-Newsnight on BBC Two.
Edit: Perhaps worth noting from the press release...
Today’s final decision reflects the provisional conclusions the Trust published in June, but with amended and strengthened conditions in direct response to views expressed by the public and stakeholders during the Trust’s public consultation about the potential impact on younger audiences and those without reliable internet access:
* A condition requiring BBC Three programmes to be broadcast on BBC One/Two, has been strengthened so that all BBC Three long-form programmes must be broadcast in slots on BBC One and Two, on an ongoing basis, effective immediately on closure of the BBC Three TV channel.
* In addition, BBC Three long-form programmes must be broadcast on both BBC One and Two at a variety of times across the schedule and throughout the UK
* A condition requiring BBC One and Two to offer programmes specifically aimed at younger audiences, including the BBC Three programmes, now requires the channels to offer distinctive programmes designed for younger audiences, including the long-form BBC Three programmes.
Last edited by Charlie Wells on 26 November 2015 1:49pm
The wrong decision. The BBC Trust has ignored hundreds of thousands of people who campaigned against the proposals to effectively relegate BBC Three to online only, and decides to go ahead with the proposals anyway. Bad move.
So, if BBC Three is going away, major changes should be made to BBC Four. Maybe not relegating it to an online only service, but at the very least, rebranding with a new non-numerical name whilst keeping it's format and programming. Having a channel called BBC Four remain on TV, while BBC Three is removed makes absolutely no sense at all.
With one less BBC TV channel, there should be a reduction in the TVL, but that sure ain't gonna happen!
The update appears to be in the notes to editors. Worth noting...
A gradual transition
There will be a brief phased migration online from January 2016 until the end of February 2016, using the vacated distribution capacity as a promotional transitional channel to run alongside BBC Three Online in that period. All cross-promotional activity must be platform neutral (with reference to the BBC code on cross-promotion) to ensure that no inappropriate activity occurs.
So by the end of Feb 2016 BBC Three will be online only. I wonder if phased migration will mean that BBC Three will initially reduce it's on air hours in January to start at 9pm, in preparation for CBBC extending it's hours.
What's happening to the Eurovision Semi Finals, one of which the BBC are mandated to broadcast by the EBU?
BBC Three is frivolous at a time where: A) Costs need to be cut and B) BBC Two is crying out for the bolder remit it had before Three and Four launched.
When BBC Three launched, original content on multichannel TV was minimal and therefore the younger demographic was largely only served by repeats. Now there are plenty of channels with original content which are able to fund themselves commercially.
A former member
I have to agree, BBC Three is not here to provide outlet for commercial US out put. When Family guy or AD is the highest rating shows on BBC Three that kinds tells you there a problem.
BBC Three original programming will still be around and I along with my mates will continue to watch the shows on line. Trying to found slots on BBC one/two NI and Scotland will be difficult.
A shame, but BBC Three has been truly run in to the ground by the Beeb ahead of this decision, so it was inevitable.
Whilst limited conditions have been made in terms of broadcast on BBC One and Two, it's noteworthy that access to BBC Three will be restricted to those who have decent enough broadband connections - many rural areas simply aren't served and progression in this area is mediocre at best.