Campaign News

BBC3 matches BBC1 at BAFTAs

BBC Three matched BBC One in the BAFTA stakes last night, leaving us with raised eyebrows again as the BBC presses on with plans to close the TV channel.

Georgia Campbell – from the real-life drama Murdered by My Boyfriend – and documentary Life and Death Row were both winners at last night’s awards ceremony. The two awards matches BBC Three’s performance last year.

This equals the number of awards picked up by BBC One – which has a significantly bigger budget – and which is not facing budget cuts like BBC Three.

Those two awards went to drama Happy Valley and Graham North’s Friday night chatshow.

Under BBC proposals BBC Three would be relegated to online-only with big programming budget cuts. BBC1+1 would take BBC Three’s space on television, increasing the amount of money the BBC spends on BBC One.

BBC delays BBC3 move

The BBC has delayed plans to move BBC Three online as it is forced to wait for approval from the BBC Trust before it can market any such move.

The channel was originally proposed to move online-only this Autumn, but bosses now admitted that the move would not be possible until at least “after Christmas”.

The Controller of BBC3, Damian Kavanagh, told Broadcast magazine: “We won’t be rushed. We will do what’s right for our fans, not to satisfy deadlines.”

“Once we have the Trust’s final decision, we’ll start doing more online and in social [media], building up to a move online”.

He added: “You simply can’t turn around something as groundbreaking as this overnight.”

Currently the BBC Trust is analysing the results of a Public Value Test. Results will be published with a provisional conclusion in June. Further comment will be sought from the public before making a final decision around September time.

The BBC remains under pressure to u-turn over plans to close the channel – the #saveBBC3 petition has over 285,000 signatures.

BBC told to stop ‘dismantling’ BBC3

Two independent producers have accused the BBC of dismantling and asset-stripping the channel before any permission has been granted to close the channel by the BBC Trust.

Jimmy Mulville and Jon Thoday, owners of Hat Trick and Avalon, are calling for a meeting with the BBC Trust’s Rona Fairhead about it.

Mulville said: “Already assets are being taken off BBC3, they are destroying the value of BBC3 as we speak. They are actually setting up and putting resources into a BBC online channel which is yet to be ratified by the trust. This speaks to the very heart of how the BBC is governed.”

“What they are trying to do is get this off the table quickly before they get into charter renewal.”

“This should be put on ice until there is a new government in place and the BBC formally start their charter renewal negotiations. It’s part of a bigger conversation. What worries me is they will get it rubber stamped by Rona Fairhead which would be a miserable legacy for her.”

The producers are campaigning for the BBC Trust to consider other options than whether BBC3 closes or stays open – including a sale of the channel. This has some key industry support, showing there is strong value in keeping the channel.

Already a number of programmes have been axed from the station including In The Flesh, and rights to future episodes of Family Guy has gone to ITV2.

Stacey Dooley: ‘Totally gutted’ over BBC3 move

Stacey Dooley – who made her career from presenting BBC3 documentaries – has said she is “totally gutted” about the BBC’s plans to move the channel online-only.

She told the Radio Times this week: “I think it’s a massive shame that it won’t represent the younger crowd and it will be missed in terms of making decent, accurate documentaries.”

“I think it’s a shame not to have that quality on television also. I just think BBC2 and BBC4 are very similar, and BBC4 could have migrated to BBC2 instead.”

Initial BBC3 decision expected in June

The BBC Trust is expected to make an initial decision on the future of BBC3 in June.

Last Tuesday a group of #savebbc3 campaigners headed to London to make some noise outside Broadcasting House, before heading down to BBC Trust to hand in a 271,000-name petition.

The rally was organised to tie-in with the last day of the official BBC Trust consultation, which lasted for 28 days. The BBC Trust had been consulting over the future of the channel which would be closed on television, and replaced with a video streaming service online. The BBC would use the freed-up space on television to create a BBC1+1, and would extend the hours of CBBC.

After handing in the petition to the BBC Trust’s Head of Business Strategy, Jon Cowdock, confirmed the decision was “not a fait-accompli”.

He said: “We will take a view based on the evidence. People who have signed this have not wasted their time. This is an important contribution.”

The Trust has since confirmed to the #SaveBBC3 campaigners that they expect to report back on the BBC proposals in June, with a timetable currently under review of Ofcom and the Trustees. After the initial decision there will be another four week consultation before the Trust has the final say.

Jono Read, the creator of the #SaveBBC3 petition and campaign, believed the campaign was getting a fair hearing. He said: “It’s been a long process since the Director General announced his initial plans for BBC3 last March, but we feel our views are starting to be listened to by the BBC and the Trust. The BBC Trust say they’ve not yet made their mind up on the future of BBC3, and if they want to truly reflect the opinions of viewers they will tell the BBC to think again.

We are not going to back down until the BBC rethinks their plans. Even the bosses themselves admit the move could be seen as premature, and that there is little appetite for this move.”

Campaigners’ criticisms of the proposals include the fact the plans will be subjected to £30m of programming cuts, and that much of the investment will be spent on shorter YouTube-style video clips instead of long-form content popular on BBC3 on TV. They believe an online BBC3 will also be less accessible with some fans unable to access fast internet speeds for iPlayer, or 3G and 4G mobile phone signals to stream video.

If approved BBC3 would be taken off-air in Autumn 2015.

#SaveBBC3 rally on Radio 1’s Newsbeat

Radio 1’s Newsbeat joined us at our rally in London on Tuesday to report on the strength of feeling from fans about the BBC’s proposals.

They followed us down to the BBC Trust where the petition was handed over to Jon Cowdock, Head of Business Strategy for the BBC Trust.

The rally was the top story on Radio 1 and 1Xtra. Listen back to Newsbeat in this audio clip.

Campaigners to deliver petition to BBC Trust

Tomorrow, (Feb 17), campaigners who have been fighting to save much-loved comedy channel BBC Three from being axed will deliver their petition to the BBC Trust. 

The petition was started on Change.org in March last year after BBC Director Tony Hall announced plans for the closure of BBC Three as a broadcast channel and for it to operate solely online.

A week later Labour MP, John McDonnell tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) that gained cross-party support, over concerns about job losses.

Mr McDonnell said: “‘I fully support the campaign to save BBC3. I urge the BBC management to reconsider their proposal to close a television channel for the first time in the history of the institution.

“BBC3 has consistently given birth to popular, innovative content and its closure would be a loss to our diverse, high quality public service broadcasting in this country.”

The plans, which aim to save £50m a year, are subject to the approval of the BBC Trust. The Trust ran a public consultation on the proposals which is due to end today (Feb 17).

Last month, TV companies, Avalon and Hat Trick have approached the BBC Trust with a proposal that they buy BBC Three from the corporation. A decision has not yet been reached.

Jono Read from Norfolk, who has been leading the campaign said:  “Only last month the BBC Trust claimed that they want to give power to the people rather than important leaving decisions within the hands of a ‘small elite’ management at the BBC. If they genuinely mean this they will listen to the 270,000 people who have signed the Change.org petition against the closure of BBC3, and the views of key BBC3 talent who are dead set against the proposals.”

Jono who has taken work experience at BBC Radio 1 and BBC Norfolk in the past describes himself as “passionate about the BBC”. He created Unofficial Mills, the unofficial fansite for Radio 1’s Scott Mills, in July 2005. Eight years after creation it is still reported to receive over 60,000 unique visitors a month.

Call on the BBC3 family to #savebbc3

BBC Three has big levels of support from the viewers and celebrities too. We need to galavanise that support before the consultation and petition closes on February 17. The channel has been home to new talent, thought-provoking documentaries, and unrivaled music festival coverage. Use these links to send a tweet to some of the BBC3 family to encourage them to retweet.

General Tweet

“Help me #savebbc3 the home of new talent & thought-provoking documentaries. Sign the consultation & petition before Feb 17 at www.savebbc3.com”Click to tweet

BBC3 Celebrities

Matt Lucas – Click to tweet
David Walliams – Click to tweet
James Corden – Click to tweet
Matt Horne – Click to tweet
Rob Brydon – Click to tweet
Jen Long – Click to tweet
Nick Grimshaw – Click to tweet
Jake Humphrey – Click to tweet
Johnny Vegas – Click to tweet
Lee Nelson – Click to tweet
Freema Agyeman – Click to tweet
Sheridan Smith – Click to tweet
Russell Tovey – Click to tweet
Joanna Page – Click to tweet
Ricky Gervais – Click to tweet
Rebecca Front – Click to tweet
Julian Barratt – Click to tweet
Noel Fielding – Click to tweet
Larry Lamb – Click to tweet
Stacey Dooley – Click to tweet
Chris Chibnall – Click to tweet
Rick Edwards – Click to tweet
Greg James – Click to tweet
Jameela Jamil – Click to tweet
Stephen Fry – Click to tweet
Matt Edmondson – Click to tweet
Ash Atalla – Click to tweet
John Barrowman – Click to tweet
Ralf Little – Click to tweet
Scott Mills – Click to tweet
Will Mellor – Click to tweet
Natalie Casey – Click to tweet
Reggie Yates – Click to tweet
Dermot O’Leary – Click to tweet
Heydon Prowse – Click to tweet
Jolyon Rubinstein – Click to tweet
Russell Kane – Click to tweet
Richard Bacon – Click to tweet
Lauren Laverne – Click to tweet
Zane Lowe – Click to tweet
Rochelle off The Saturdays – Click to tweet
Matthew Crosby – Click to tweet
Katherine Ryan – Click to tweet
Elis James – Click to tweet
Tyger Drew-Honey – Click to tweet
Bob Mortimer – Click to tweet
Greg Davies – Click to tweet
Russell Howard – Click to tweet
Taylor Lautner – Click to tweet
Charlotte Ritchie – Click to tweet
Dylan Bruce – Click to tweet
Miquita Oliver – Click to tweet
Ed Byrne – Click to tweet
Matt Richardson – Click to tweet
Rich Fulcher – Click to tweet
Dave Brown – Click to tweet
George Lamb – Click to tweet
Sarah Solemani – Click to tweet
Steve Furst – Click to tweet
Anthony Stewart Head – Click to tweet
Adelayo Adedayo – Click to tweet
Dolly Wells – Click to tweet
Colin Salmon – Click to tweet
Scarlett A Johnson – Click to tweet
Jassa Ahluwalia – Click to tweet
Tatiana Maslany – Click to tweet