BBC Two HD to replace BBC HD

11.56 Europe/London, October 6, 2011 By Julian Clover

The BBC plans to launch a dedicated BBC Two HD channel to replace the existing BBC HD channel in the UK.

The proposal is part of stringent savings being introduced by the BBC with the aim of saving £670 million a year by 2016/17. In all 2,000 jobs will be lost across the corporation.

BBC Three and BBC Four, introduced as part of the move towards digital broadcasting, will be refocused to play supporting roles to the larger BBC One and BBC Two. This effectively means that the type of drama production that might have been shown on BBC Four, with an HD simulcast on BBC HD, would instead appear on BBC Two.

BBC Three itself will move to the new media facility in Salford, Greater Manchester, joining BBC Sport, BBC Childrens and BBC Radio 5 Live. BBC Four was viewed as a potential candidate for closure, though over the past few months many of the BBC’s outlets have come under scrutiny.

BBC HD launched in May 2006, though it was effectively a trial service for the first 18 months of its existence, showing HD content from the four national networks. When BBC One HD launched the channel launched on November 3, 2010, BBC HD concentrated on the three other networks.

Last month the head of BBC HD, Danielle Nagler, left the corporation and her role was merged into other posts.