A Cuppa Media: The digital future of BBC Three

Written by Alex Veeneman

BBC Three is to become an online only channel and moved off of television.

BBC Three is to become an online only channel and moved off of television. The move comes after a week-long Twitter campaign to keep the channel instead of moving it in order for the BBC to save money.

The programmes, according to a report from The Guardian, would only be made available via iPlayer. The channel, which would be exiting television airwaves after 11 years, had programme hits such as Gavin and Stacey and Little Britain, which would become international hits for the BBC and would later move to BBC One due to their success.

‘We will face tough choices’

There had been earlier calls for BBC Four, the arts channel, to be merged with BBC Two, The Guardian report added. Tony Hall, the BBC’s Director-General, in a speech last week to the Oxford Media Convention, said hard decisions needed to be made as the corporation looked to save £100 million, as debate continues about its next royal charter.

A spokesperson for the BBC, in an emailed statement to Kettle, said the move was necessary. “Tony Hall set out some of the very real challenges the BBC faces at his speech in Oxford,” the spokesperson said. “He made clear that we will face tough choices about our budgets and we will make further announcements in due course.”

Stars including Radio 1 DJ (and fellow BBC Three personality) Greg James had been a part of the earlier Twitter campaign.

Fans also expressed concerns prior to the confirmation of the move.

A new direction for TV?

Previous services had been threatened closure, including the 6 Music and Asian Network radio services, according to a report from the BBC.

Russell Kane, a notable personality on the channel, said BBC Three was a vital part of the BBC’s entertainment portfolio.

“It’s not necessarily a youth channel, but it is younger-skewed,” Kane said in a BBC interview. I don’t see why it should be cut because people who are younger have quieter voices in the political process.”

With BBC Three’s move strictly online, there has been some speculation that this may be the future of television. While other networks have not publicly said otherwise, it may start a new trend in consumption of television for younger audiences, which has become recently influenced by the role of social media, especially Twitter.

What do you think of the closure of BBC Three? Would other stations follow similarly to BBC Three? Have your say in the comments section below.

Image: Capt’ Gorgeous / Flickr