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MetalGearRex1,528 posts since 11 May 2016
London London
It's no denying that streaming services, from the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, have radically changed the face of television as we know it - a larger range of content to consume, and 'binge-watching' series in one go.

But it has also led to a shift in how broadcasters distribute their content. Catch-up services have been prioritised massively to take advantage of the growing shift towards on-demand television. The BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky and UKTV present their services as not just an alternative to their portfolio of channels, but as a way for viewers who are increasingly watching on-demand as an easy gateway to access their content, for free. Personalisation of content has also become prevalent at the same time.

The BBC has also tapped into the young audience's shift to on-demand by moving their youth channel, BBC Three, from linear TV to a fully online service. One effect of this is a deeper focus on quality content and parts of what defined the channel in its linear TV era, doubled down in the online space.

There's also certain changes that have had an effect on broadcasters - Sky's NOW TV offsetting the loss of potential subscribers to the Sky TV service, producing more original content on linear TV and releasing box sets of new shows before airing weekly on linear TV (The BBC and Sky have done this regularly on their respective services).

What does the future hold? Will streaming services make more burgeoning moves to counter linear platforms? Or are traditional TV broadcasters still holding on in today's television space?
‘Kept you waiting, huh?’- Solid Snake
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nwtv20038,245 posts since 5 Jan 2003
Granada North West Today
If the main channels continue to offer event TV which must be watched live, then there’s still plenty of life left in linear OTA TV. This is also very applicable to Sport, hence the recent interest in Premier League rights.

I think some of the tiered pay TV channels will suffer, especially the lesser watched ones, such as some of the Discovery channels.

I think the future of the kids TV channels will certainly be interesting and unpredictable within the next few years. There’s certainly more of an uptake in On Demand viewing for kids which could potentially lead some of the channels in the dark. Certainly channels like CBeebies are fine as many parents will just leave it on for toddlers, however CBBC could suffer if it doesn’t offer anything that stands out. You get adults who complain of the lack of kids shows on BBC1 and BBC2 today which claim to have dented the BBC’s impact. Whilst there is some truth in that, a lot of adults don’t understand that lots of kids will probably chose a tablet over a Television, why give them a forced schedule when the choice is there?

In hindsight I think moving BBC3 to online only was a good idea. It’s still a widely watched channel despite having no linear presence.
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08tom560 posts since 24 Nov 2007
There was an article somewhere that said Netflix is more popular with young people than the BBC. I believe BBC 3 should have had an overlap and not just end the channel one day then launch online the next day. ITV 2 plays a part in bringing an audience to ITV and the ITV Hub. One of the main problems with BBC 3 is there not enough long form programing. I think the age of 5 min videos on youtube is on the way out and now dramas are in. BBC 3 needs to put less into short form and make more long form. I also think the BBC should drop BBC 3 and just put the budget for youth programs straight into iplayer. Then market iplayer for the youth.
noggin13,884 posts since 26 Jun 2001
There was an article somewhere that said Netflix is more popular with young people than the BBC. I believe BBC 3 should have had an overlap and not just end the channel one day then launch online the next day.


Not sure what you mean - BBC Three had been online for ages when it was linear. The only real change was that the linear channel got pulled, and the commissioning budget dropped hugely (to something like 25% of the previous linear budget?) so that the amount of actual content commissioned for BBC Three audiences was massively reduced.

The real reason most people think the linear channel was pulled was that with the hugely reduced commissioning budget there wouldn't have been enough content to fill a 7 day a week channel from 1900-0100 without it becoming VERY obvious how little there was...
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MetalGearRex1,528 posts since 11 May 2016
London London
Even then it was filled with repeats of family guy. Other channels are able to cover these topics.

When you position a channel to focus on quality original content for young people, but find that a US animated import dominates the top 10 for that channel regularly, then there is a problem. Despite the smaller budget and a now diminished linear presence on late-night BBC One and Two, Three has remarkably produced stellar output in the two years it's been online. Perhaps even besting some programmes made during the time it was a linear channel.


If the main channels continue to offer event TV which must be watched live, then there’s still plenty of life left in linear OTA TV. This is also very applicable to Sport, hence the recent interest in Premier League rights.

I think some of the tiered pay TV channels will suffer, especially the lesser watched ones, such as some of the Discovery channels.

I think the future of the kids TV channels will certainly be interesting and unpredictable within the next few years. There’s certainly more of an uptake in On Demand viewing for kids which could potentially lead some of the channels in the dark.

As for pay-TV channels even the likes of Sky have been downplaying them to an extent. Channels that have a niche audience have either gone FTA or closed completely due to the loss of pay-TV revenue. And Sky Cinema seems to be pushing the main selling point of carrying over 1000 movies on demand, rather than movies being spread over its portfolio of dedicated channels.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with some pay-TV channels, who do face a bigger threat from the likes of Netflix and co. Certainly the idea of quantity of quality (as we saw over the early 2000s with an explosion of channels launching left, right and centre) has almost gone entirely.
‘Kept you waiting, huh?’- Solid Snake
zeebre1273 posts since 31 Dec 2017
Even then it was filled with repeats of family guy. Other channels are able to cover these topics.

When you position a channel to focus on quality original content for young people, but find that a US animated import dominates the top 10 for that channel regularly, then there is a problem. Despite the smaller budget and a now diminished linear presence on late-night BBC One and Two, Three has remarkably produced stellar output in the two years it's been online. Perhaps even besting some programmes made during the time it was a linear channel.


If the main channels continue to offer event TV which must be watched live, then there’s still plenty of life left in linear OTA TV. This is also very applicable to Sport, hence the recent interest in Premier League rights.

I think some of the tiered pay TV channels will suffer, especially the lesser watched ones, such as some of the Discovery channels.

I think the future of the kids TV channels will certainly be interesting and unpredictable within the next few years. There’s certainly more of an uptake in On Demand viewing for kids which could potentially lead some of the channels in the dark.

As for pay-TV channels even the likes of Sky have been downplaying them to an extent. Channels that have a niche audience have either gone FTA or closed completely due to the loss of pay-TV revenue. And Sky Cinema seems to be pushing the main selling point of carrying over 1000 movies on demand, rather than movies being spread over its portfolio of dedicated channels.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with some pay-TV channels, who do face a bigger threat from the likes of Netflix and co. Certainly the idea of quantity of quality (as we saw over the early 2000s with an explosion of channels launching left, right and centre) has almost gone entirely.

What channels have really closed completely in recent years? Very few really. Discovery still have their very small channels like DMAX/Discovery Shed/Discovery History/Discovery H&H that rate very badly. Could Discovery end up culling a few? It doesn't seem like they will for the forseable future anyway. The 30+ music channels are still operating.
Sky are really starting to downplay their linear channels.A lot of TV shows are now released on demand first and then on the linear channel like recent series on Sky 1/Atlantic. Where will Sky go from here with their linear channels?
London Lite9,718 posts since 4 Jan 2003
London London

Sky are really starting to downplay their linear channels.A lot of TV shows are now released on demand first and then on the linear channel like recent series on Sky 1/Atlantic. Where will Sky go from here with their linear channels?


I can't see Sky adding complete box sets for series that are 'event television' such as Thrones and Westworld. However, The Tunnel's final series was on Sky Box Sets and NOW TV as soon as it was on Sky Atlantic.

Event television or niche output is the future of linear television.
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noggin13,884 posts since 26 Jun 2001

What channels have really closed completely in recent years? Very few really. Discovery still have their very small channels like DMAX/Discovery Shed/Discovery History/Discovery H&H that rate very badly. Could Discovery end up culling a few? It doesn't seem like they will for the forseable future anyway. The 30+ music channels are still operating.


How many of them air original content commissioned for that specific channel though? All these extra channels are doing are hoovering up some advertising revenue by exploiting a relatively small number of people wanting to watch those shows at the time they stumble into them.

As long as the content is low-cost to repeat (and factual stuff originated the right way can be), and the channels are low-cost to run, even low rating services can still turn a profit. All Discovery are doing is sweating their assets.

Some shows are acquired with a fixed number of broadcasts within a certain period, and in some cases it can be difficult to hit that number if you only have a small number of channels - so you are effectively 'wasting' your rights in that case.
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noggin13,884 posts since 26 Jun 2001
Interesting you mention ad revenue as obviously that is one route Netflix and Amazon haven't gone down yet, so as far as advertiser's are concerned even with online competition to get your message out to large audiences quickly linear TV still has a huge part to play.


And Commercial catch-up services like ITV Hub and All4 also have embedded commercials.