Judgment on BBC3’s future due


Published: Tuesday 30th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Viewers will be a step closer to knowing the fate of BBC3 today.

The BBC Trust is announcing its provisional conclusions on the BBC Executive’s proposals to move BBC3 online as part of a cost-cutting drive.

After today’s judgment is published, a further 28-day consultation period will take place with the Trust before a final decision is made later this year.

It is thought that the channel could be taken off-air as early as January if the decision is approved.

Campaigners have battled to keep BBC3 alive as a TV channel, saying that the planned move would be “disastrous” for the fostering of “new talent” and “innovative ideas”.

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, Broadchurch actress Olivia Colman and Poldark’s Aidan Turner are among those who have signed an open letter on the issue.

Other signatories to the letter to Rona Fairhead, chairwoman of the BBC Trust, and BBC director-general Tony Hall, included Jack Whitehall, Steve Coogan, Al Murray, James Nesbitt, Maxine Peake, Imelda Staunton and Richard E Grant.

The corporation announced last year that the channel, which was home to hits like Gavin and Stacey, would go online only.

Writers including Jimmy McGovern, Andrew Davies, Alan Bleasdale, William Boyd and Hanif Kureishi have also opposed the move.

More than 290,000 people have signed a petition to “save BBC3”.

BBC TV boss Danny Cohen previously defended the plans, saying a move online would help the corporation find young talent and reach young audiences.

The BBC has said that “tough decisions have to be made” because of “the reality of having the licence fee frozen since 2010”.

It has said that by “reinventing” BBC3 online the channel will cater for young people who “want great content that’s relevant to them at a time of their choosing” and has pledged to “still make great drama, comedy and documentaries”.

The trust will also announce its provisional conclusions on the BBC Executive’s proposals for the planned launch of a plus one channel for BBC1, changes to iPlayer to premiere more shows on the service, and extended hours for children’s channel CBBC.

Published: Tuesday 30th June 2015 by The News Editor

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