BBC accused of hiding BBC3 consultation

The BBC has been accused of hiding the latest consultation about BBC Three from viewers of the station.

The #SaveBBC3 campaigners – who are urging the BBC to rethink plans to close BBC Three on television – have been pushing for the BBC and BBC Trust to widely publicise the petition to BBC Three’s target audience.

At the time of writing the BBC had made just one tweet during the day on the BBC Three Twitter page about the consultation, and there had been no mention on BBC Three’s Facebook page. The consultation opened last Wednesday.

This is the last opportunity supporters of the channel have to respond to the BBC Trust before a final decision is made at the end of September.

The #SaveBBC3 campaigners are urging supporters to bypass the long-winded survey on the website and head to its own website to register unhappiness with the proposals. It says already thousands have responded this way. However the campaigners want as many young people as possible to read about the the proposals, and they are concerned many still do not know because of the BBC’s lack of publicity.

23,000 people responded to the last phase of consultation with a majority opposed to the move, while 300,000 signed the SaveBBC3 petition against the proposals. Over half of those surveyed by the BBC Trust earlier this year in separate ICM polling said they would not watch a BBC Three online.

Jono Read, creator of the #SaveBBC3 campaign, said: “At the first phase of consultation the BBC and BBC Trust ignored the views of young people, now it seems they are doing their best to stop them responding whatsoever. The BBC should be honest with the audience and tell them that they are planning to take the channel off TV by March, and push for their opinions in whatever way possible. At the moment it seems to be in a state of denial. One post a week on one social media is unacceptable and shows the disregard they have for young people.”

“The BBC executive’s response to the BBC Trust has raised more questions than it has given answers. The BBC will give viewers just three months from a BETA launch of BBC Three online to migrate from TV to the service, and there is no guarantee the repeated BBC3 programming will appear on BBC1 and 2 longer term for those unable to access the service. Moreover the BBC has not outlined how it proposes to use the space left vacant from a lack of BBC1+1, BBC3 and BBC3 HD while it continues to pay for carrier costs.”

“Their strategy so far has been a failure with the corporation admitting a ‘lack of appetite’ for the move, smaller ratings for Family Guy on BBC Two compared to BBC Three, and mixed reaction to BBC One’s Don’t Tell The Bride. Next week it will try Reading and Leeds coverage on BBC Four rather than BBC Three. We think it’s time for the management to go back to the drawing board.”

Supporters of the #SaveBBC3 campaign can go to www.savebbc3.com/response to fire off an email to BBC Trust.

In recent weeks E4 has mocked the closure of BBC3 on-air claiming to be shortly the only free-to-air channel for 16 to 24 year olds on television, while BBC2 was ridiculed for not knowing the key characters of Family Guy when introducing the programme.

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