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BBC three to be taken online and replaced on Freeview and satellite with BBC 1+1

This will be subject to the approval of the BBC Trust: however it seems that the BBC will save 50 million pounds a year moving BBC three online. 30 million of the savings will boost drama on BBC One. The Freeview, satellite and cable capacity will be used to repeat BBC One shows an hour later from 8pm to 4am. The CBBC channel will remain on air until 8pm.

We should close BBC Three as a broadcast or linear channel and ask Danny and his team to reinvent it as a channel online and on the iPlayer  Photograph: BBC
We should close BBC Three as a broadcast or linear channel and ask Danny and his team to reinvent it as a channel online and on the iPlayer Photograph: BBC
published on UK Free TV

Here's Tony Hall's speech:

“Since I came back to the BBC I hope I've made two things clear.

“First that the BBC is living with a licence fee that for five years will have been flat - it will not have gone up at all. And, at the same time, we are absorbing extra costs that we were asked to take on - for the World Service, S4C and the roll-out of broadband. That's why the organisation has had to look for savings - so that we, like everyone else in these difficult economic times, can live within our means. My concern - along with that of everybody I meet inside and outside the BBC - is to ensure that the quality of what we do is not compromised along the way. We are here to produce exceptional and distinctive programmes and services for Britain and the world. But I do believe, as I said only last week, that the BBC has taken incremental change as far as it can. Something has to give. And that means hard choices. But there is one choice I will never make - and that's to sacrifice quality. And I believe that's what the British public thinks too.

“The second point I've made is that the BBC is, by its nature and history, an organisation that constantly reinvents itself, an organisation that takes the idea of public service broadcasting - to inform, educate and entertain - and makes it relevant for each generation in our nearly one hundred year history. I remember myself the launch of BBC News Online when I was running BBC News. There was a great deal of scepticism to put it mildly. But we were doing what the BBC and its staff have always done - using our innate creativity to lead the way. That's why now - for this generation - I believe the iPlayer is a key part of the future for public service broadcasting. It's the gateway for people who increasingly want to watch and listen to what they want, when they want it - on tablets, on mobiles as well as other screens. I am sure that this is going to be increasingly important for our younger audiences. And reaching those audiences is vital for the BBC.

“Reconciling these two aims - financial and strategic - has led us to this difficult conclusion. We should close BBC Three as a broadcast or linear channel and ask Danny and his team to reinvent it as a channel online and on the iPlayer. We propose making this change in the autumn of next year. I believe it’s the right thing to do: young audiences – the BBC Three audience – are the most mobile and ready to move to an online world. 25% of viewing by 16-24 year olds is to catch-up or other screens and over the next few years we expect that to reach 40%. We recognise that, for now, most of this audience still do their viewing on television, and that is why we plan to show BBC Three’s long-form content on either BBC One or BBC Two.

“I’m convinced that the BBC as a creative organisation will be able to reinvent a space for young people on the iPlayer that will be bold, innovative and distinctive. It will not just be a TV channel distributed online - it will be an opportunity to look at new forms, formats, different durations, and more individualised and interactive content. It will play to BBC Three’s strengths, offer something distinctive and new, and enhance the BBC’s reputation with young audiences. And I will challenge everyone in the BBC to spend much more time focusing on programming for young audiences. We will lead the way.

“Let me just say to Zai and the BBC Three team: you produce, and will continue to produce, amazing programmes – bringing new ideas, new stories and new talent to our screens. BBC Three has an extraordinary track record – it’s been home to Gavin & Stacey, Little Britain, Bad Education and, right now, Bluestone 42. I’ve also been seriously impressed by the current affairs I’ve seen – from Blood, Sweat and T-Shirts and Our War, to Reggie Yates’s outstanding reports from South Africa, ending just this week. You can be rightly proud of what you have achieved so far. I want you to carry on making programmes for young audiences that continue to break new ground.

“This is the first time in the BBC's history that we are proposing to close a television channel. I can’t rule out it being the last change to our programmes or services. It will save the BBC over £50 million a year. £30 million of that will go into drama on BBC One. And it also means we will extend Children's programmes by an hour a night and provide a BBC One +1 channel. I must stress - all of this is what we are proposing to the BBC Trust. They will have the final say.

“I am certain that this decision is strategically right - but it's also financially necessary too. Delivering the savings programme following the last licence fee negotiation means these changes are happening earlier than they might in a better financial environment. And I don’t simply want to keep salami slicing the budgets in a way that means our frontline staff are always asked to keep doing more with less. I am sure that we will have to face up to further difficult challenges as we build the BBC for the future. But in making those changes, I am determined to ensure we embrace the new opportunities technology gives us - and match that with programming of the highest quality that is simply the best in the world.”

Danny Cohen, Director of BBC Television, said:

"This is the biggest strategic decision the BBC has made in over a decade. While it has been an extremely difficult decision borne out of financial necessity, I believe it is also a creatively energising and innovative move. In autumn 2015 we plan to close BBC Three as a linear TV Channel and in its place we will develop a bold, ambitious, future-facing new version of BBC Three online. I think this can be transformational for both the BBC’s relationship with young audiences and the BBC’s approach to the digital age overall. When we take BBC Three online we need to see it as a brand new Service launch. It is an opportunity for both radical thinking and unprecedented collaboration both inside the BBC and with our audiences and creative partners outside the corporation.

“The new version of BBC Three online will continue to have the things we all cherish most about the Service – innovative comedy, unrivalled Current Affairs for young people, incisive and entertaining factual, and original entertainment. I want and expect us to keep making shows for young audiences of the quality of 'Our War' and the public service value of BBC Three’s recent season on young people and mental health. BBC Three will continue to build on the comic brilliance of 'Little Britain', 'Gavin and Stacey' and 'Bad Education', of the entertainment value of 'Russell Howard’s Good News' and 'Backchat'. And BBC Three will continue to commission Current Affairs of the pedigree of recent documentaries on Afghanistan, the Congo, India, South Africa and of course the tough challenges faced by young people here in the UK. What is changing is the way we deliver these programmes to our audiences.

“BBC Three will continue to do all the things we love but it will also have the freedom to break traditional shackles and allow the BBC to be a leader in digital change. It will not just be a TV Channel distributed online. There is a wonderful creative opportunity here to develop new formats with new programme lengths – and to reach young audiences in an ever growing number of ways. Will we still want to make all of our Current Affairs’ documentaries at 60 minutes in the age of Vice and youtube? Will we find that contemporary documentary and formats work much better at 40 or 45 minutes than 58? What will we learn about the length we want to make each episode of our dramas or comedies, perhaps learning from new market players like Netflix and Amazon? Although I’m sure that video – televisual – content will be at the core of the new BBC Three, we’ll need to challenge ourselves to think and create differently. In this sense, BBC Three will be the spearhead for a new age of digital change for the BBC. It will be the pathfinder as we learn how audience behaviour is changing in the coming years – and it will allow the BBC to be ready for the next waves of disruptive digital disruption.

“We will also make sure that every piece of long-form BBC Three content finds a home on one of our linear television channels. We do not want our content for young audiences to be available only to those with a broadband connection – and we don’t want anyone to miss out on the great new programmes we will be producing. So every long-form programme will be transmitted on either BBC One or BBC2, with most playing at 10.35pm or a little later. Playing them on BBC One will massively increase the reach of these programmes for young audiences and guarantee that we do not risk creating a ‘haves and have nots’, a digital divide when it comes to enjoying what we are making for the public. It will also make BBC Three an even more exciting place to be for on-screen talent. Their shows will be shown on BBC Three’s new home on iplayer but they will also know that their work will get a showing on either the Nation’s biggest television channel, BBC One or the hugely popular BBC2.

All questions
BBC Three Linear channel re-opens1
Removing all barriers to communication between diverse cultures2
How do I get a test card with Freeview3
What can I do when my Sky Digibox says 'No Signal' or 'Technical fau4
Can I receive UK TV in Ghana?5
In this section
BBC salami-slicing returns to overnight services?1
#GreatBBC campaign launched2
Goodbye BBC Red Button!3
Want to know how much the BBC spend in England, Scotland, Wales and NI per home?4
S4C and Welsh Exceptionalism?5
BBC future: make sure you make the deadline6

Saturday, 8 March 2014

3:07 PM

4G broadband, at what cost?

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Ian's 497 posts GB flag
Ian's: mapI's Freeview map terrainI's terrain plot wavesI's frequency data I's Freeview Detailed Coverage

3:23 PM

Ian: £13 a month? All-you-can-eat data/200 minutes/ 5.000 texts Search Results

I think I pay £15 a month ( I got a deal) for the "The One Plan 12 Month SIM Only." All-you-can-eat data/ 2,000 minutes/ 5,000 Three-to-Three minutes/ 5,000 texts

On three you get 4G for the same price as 3G.

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Briantist's 38,899 posts GB flag

3:45 PM

trevorjharris: I've tried and I'm not able to follow the logic of your argument.

"The BBC is no longer a public service as it is concentrates too much on viewing figures "

Q1: In your opinion, what was the date at which the BBC was still a public service? What happened on that date to move it, from your point of view, to something else?

Q2: If the BBC isn't a public service, what would you classify it as?

Q3. Given the BBC has a lower total share for it's channels that it ever has, isn't your argument somewhat backwards?

"The BBC is no longer a public service as it [does not] concentrates enough on quality programmes. "

Q4: Please define what you mean in terms of quality.

Q5: Can you provide a date in the past where you considered the quality of BBC programmes to meet your standards?

Q6: Which broadcaster (UK or worldwide) do you consider to provide "quality programmes". If you could provide some example of these programmes, that would be helpful.

"It should be sold off "

Q7. Who owns the BBC?

Q8. If the BBC were sold to the stock market, say, where would the money from the sale go to?

Q9. What is your expectation of future profits for an corporation that currently spends all of it's income on content? I presume you have an idea of this because otherwise a sale would be pointless as the BBC has a worth of zero without the ability to pay future shareholders.

"It should be funded by a combination of advertising and subscription. "

Q10. Why would a sold-off BBC not be able to collect a licence fee?

Q11: You do realise that price elasticity means that the total advertising revenue for TV would not increase? This would mean that the BBC would have to share the revenue that currently funds ITV and Channel 4? This would send Channel 4 to the wall and cut ITV revenues in half?

"advertising and subscription ... would also have the benefit of freeing the BBC news from government control."

Q12. Legally BBC News has a Royal Charter that requires it to be a public service not beholden to the government of the day. If it were sold off, surely it would need to pander to the whims and whimsy of the new owners? If not, what would be the point in being a BBC plc shareholder.

I look forward to understanding this more.

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Briantist's 38,899 posts GB flag

4:06 PM

J Peter Wilson: " This needs to happen as I have come across elderly people who are over 75 yet are being chased by TV Licensing and threatened with £1000 fines."

Really? TV Licensing - Aged 74 and over says

"when you reach the age of 75, you may apply for a free over 75 TV Licence. We'll send you this licence every three years, provided we have your National Insurance number. ... We'll automatically refund any money you have over paid for each full month after your 75th birthday.

. If you don't have a National Insurance number, please provide a copy of one of the following as evidence of your age: Passport, UK driving licence, UK birth certificate, National identity card"

There is a fishy smell attached to your " 75 yet are being chased" statement.

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Briantist's 38,899 posts GB flag

5:19 PM

Dose that include tethering? 3 charge you more to tether.

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Ian's 497 posts GB flag
Ian's: mapI's Freeview map terrainI's terrain plot wavesI's frequency data I's Freeview Detailed Coverage

5:33 PM

Ian: Yes it does.

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Briantist's 38,899 posts GB flag
J Peter Wilson

6:11 PM

Briantist: Currently I have an elderly relative who is in a nursing home. She received an over 75 TV licensing renewal form at her home at the end of last year and so I phoned the TV Licensing offices to enquire what I should do about renewing her 3-year TV licence so that I did the right thing on her behalf. I was told by a member of TV Licensing that as my relative was currently not in her own home and using a TV supplied by the nursing home that she did not need a TV license.

When a letter from TV Licensing arrived at her home in January I presumed that it was a computer system glitch but within the last month another letter was received saying that TV Licensing will investigate my relative and that she may be liable to up to £1,000 fine. I have been told by another member of TV Licensing that all she could do was to put a 6 month stop on my relative receiving these threatening letters.

It is this kind of action that once more brings the BBC into disrepute with license fee payers and makes many of us wonder whether the whole financing of the BBC needs to be done in an entirely different way. Following all this hassle I have therefore written to my relatives MP about this matter.

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J Peter Wilson's 30 posts GB flag

8:20 PM

J Peter Wilson: This problem would not have occurred if the licence exemption application had been filled in and returned as that's the only way of avoiding the "automatic" process of a warning letter being sent out, something you should have been informed about when you phoned the TV Licensing office and so in this respect they slipped up.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag

8:46 PM

J Peter Wilson: Although your not the only person to have commented ' brings the BBC into disrepute with license fee payers' over such an error, in reality, its not the BBC's doing. Like many other services, its contracted out to Capita. And Capita is...Capita!

Lawyers have a saying - 'Hard cases make bad law'. One or two 'hard cases'/cockups by Capita does not mean that the whole financing of the BBC has to be done in a different way (Brianist has posted a couple of articles about this, and the lack of viable alternatives). Instead, TV Licensing (and whoever runs it) should have been a bit more clear about what needed to be done.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag

8:53 PM

4G will not be the answer for everybody, in the very rural parts of Wiltshire or Snowdonia for example. £13 per month is way more expensive than we currently pay for a TV licence - my wife is over 75 (she'll kill me for telling you all that!) so it currently costs us nothing. So why would we want the system to be changed? 4G will be quite a long time coming due to sparseness of population and hilly terrain making reception more difficult in some hamlets (we're lucky to be on a hill but nearest neighbour is 'over the scarp edge' and can only get very poor reception at best). My current mobile phone costs me a few pence a month, it's on PAYG and has little usage - again partly due to poor signal coverage in this area.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
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