BBC Trust recommends BBC3 TV axe

The BBC Trust has delivered it verdict on BBC Three – recommending approval for an online-only BBC3 from January, ignoring the views of 300,000 people who signed the #SaveBBC3 petition.

Jono Read, from the #SaveBBC3 campaign, gives his initial reaction:

“When the BBC management announced plans to close BBC Three over eighteen months ago we knew it wouldn’t be an easy task to convince them to change their minds. Like an episode of W1A they had been won over by a series of buzzwords in the offices of New Broadcasting House, with no understanding of the little appetite there would be for their plans.

I truly believed the chair of the BBC Trust when she said the viewers would be put at the heart of decision making at the BBC Trust – it’s why we kept fighting. The BBC Trust had already concluded last year the corporation was not doing enough for young people, and their last analysis of these proposals found with television still a powerful medium that audiences would end up with ITV2, E4, and Sky. Even bosses admit viewership will drop.

It is disappointing today that the BBC has not truly listened. The BBC management did not engage significantly with the future licence fee payers over this matter, probably because they knew what their response would be.

How can they try to launch a new service to rival the likes of BuzzFeed and VICE with a reduced budget rather than investment? And what incentive is there for new talent work with an online-only BBC3?

Today’s choices did not have to be a clear cut as yes or no. There were other options on the table. I am a big fan of keeping the BBC public, but when it comes to axing a channel off television there should have been more thought given to the offer to buy. With the BBC losing the rights to the Olympics this week it will also potentially leave a big pot of money unspent that could have been used to invest in young people.

Instead the Director General’s priority has been a BBC1+1 (now rejected) that would bring no further additional viewers than the innovative service he has chosen to axe from the TV screens. He proposed doing this because he said he didn’t want to “salami slice” the budget, but I can only conclude today that he will do just that. The online service – with fewer viewers – will not offer the value for money this exercise was meant to achieve.

The #SaveBBC3 campaign will keep fighting. We believe the BBC needs to inspire a generation rather than losing one. A 28-day consultation now follows, and we plan to make our voices heard as loudly as possible. The BBC Trust today hasn’t listened – we plan to make sure by the end of this consultation they do.”

Read Jono’s full piece for the Huffington Post here

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8 thoughts on “BBC Trust recommends BBC3 TV axe

  1. Peter Mac says:

    BBC3 wasn't just isn't just for young people I am 61 going to watch it quite a lot I find the program is good and interesting the BBC is shooting itself in the foot by closing this down and why the hell do we need BBC 1+1 How many homes in the country don't have a recording device of some description if you want to watch something and hour later you record it and you watch it we don't need a channel for it this is just filling in the gaps in monopolising air waves. BBC should lose the slot .

  2. Liz Harper says:

    I'm 44 and BBC3 is the only BBC channel I find worth watching. Brilliant channel !!
    If BBC3 is axed, does this mean I will no longer haver to pay my licence fee, as there will no longer be any BBC channels worth watching??

  3. Chris Flegg says:

    Why don't they get rid of that pompous BBC4 channel? It only caters for the middle aged middle class set. You can see this is going to end badly, they've let other channels have Family guy, moved things like Russell Howard over to BBC2 and just let BBC3 wind down the viewing figures to make it look like the best thing all round is to scrap it. I think im safe in saying that i will not renew my tv license when it expires in May, and only watch recorded tv to stick my finger up to the bastards who dont give a shit about the viewers

  4. Callum Tong says:

    The BBC can go fuck themselves now!!!! absolutely hate them for axing BBC three on telly, I will not be watching any BBC programs anymore .

  5. Bill Rigby says:

    Those of us unable to watch "On Line" are obviously not considered by the BBC except for licence maoney

  6. Zak Leavold says:

    I utterly appalled and speechless by this. What more would we have to do to show the BBC that the viewers want BBC3 on the TV! It seems like their decision was already made from day one.

  7. Pete Kitts says:

    BBC Trust? A bit of a contradiction in terms. After what went on at the BBC over the last 40 odd years I'm surprised they can afford more bad publicity.

  8. I think young people are increasingly sidelined. All you heard about in the election was how the youth should be working, voting, contributing. Until govt agenda includes listening to and giving them a voice, how the hell can they!? Im a social worker and i feel the themes covered by bbc3 documentaries are exactly the things we need young people to be thinking and talking about. Why cant the trust see the value in a channel like this, which shows that young people are valued?

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