Axe to fall on BBC Three as cost-cutting continues

Editor | 06-03-2014

Even though he promised on taking over the job that he would not close a channel, BBC Director General Tony Hall has announced the intention to close BBC Three as a fully functioning TV channel.

The channel is aimed at younger audiences and has a mixed track record of nurturing comedies that have gone on to national acclaim but also programmes of a nature so fatuous to have led many to question the point of the channel in the first place. BBC Three is to be dropped from TV schedules and will move online, available through the iPlayer, rather than Freeview, satellite or cable. For the 2013/2014 period the channel had a budget of £85 million.

The move comes a week after Hall told a media conference that the corporation faced ‘tough choices’ as it struggled to meet its savings targets in the wake of the last licence fee settlement. "We are in the final stages of a budget process to find an extra £100 million of saving … I will announce the outcome of those decisions in the next month,” Hall said ominously at the event. He also alluded to the fact that savings would not be derived from “salami-slicing” across the BBC estate, an act he said would “affect quality and distinctiveness”.

Any closure has to be ratified by the BBC Trust, the independent body designed to ensure best value for licence fee payers.