BBC Three inches closer to becoming an online-only entity as plans for the channel’s future are submitted by managers.
Governing body the BBC Trust will now consider the proposals to scrap BBC Three, move a portion of its content online and replace it with the timeshift BBC One+1 channel.
The plans, first announced in March, follow months of the BBC experimenting with piloting youth-oriented content destined for BBC Three on BBC iPlayer.
Citing figures that younger people increasingly tend to consume media on mobile devices, director of BBC Television Danny Cohen said that the move was the right thing to do – despite a public petition lauched by clicktivist site change.org racking up more than 265,000 signatures.
A freeze on the TV Licence, enforced by the UK Government, has seen the BBC enact cost-saving measures. Cohen said earlier this year that the BBC had planned to move BBC Three online at some point in the future, but not for another three or four years. Cohen also hinted that BBC Four could face a similar fate.
The BBC Trust said: “The BBC Trust has now received the detail of proposals from the BBC Executive to close BBC Three as a broadcast channel and reinvent it as an online only proposition. Alongside this, the Executive also propose launching a BBC One+1 channel, extending the hours for CBBC and enhancing BBC iPlayer.”
The Trust, the governing body of the BBC, will now review the plans and launch a public consultation in January 2015. It’s thought that BBC Three will ascend to iPlayer heaven in the Autumn of 2015.
The closure of BBC Three, a channel which began life back in 1998 as BBC Choice, will see the end to nearly 16 years of broadcasting and mark the first time the BBC will have axed a broadcast channel.
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