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BBC, plc 2017: BBC announcement

The manifesto promised to "remove the legacy of public service by transferring all broadcasting to the private sector", with just a month to go before the shares in BBC plc are allocated, the BBC issues a statement to clarify the services that will be provided in their subscription offer.

Final arrangements for BBC plc subscription services  Photograph: Shutterstock
Final arrangements for BBC plc subscription services Photograph: Shutterstock
published on UK Free TV

BBC press release

Wednesday 1st June 2016

Final arrangements for BBC plc subscription services

Ahead of the floatation of the BBC on 29th June, the Chief Executive Office elect of BBC plc has announced today the television subscription packages that will be on offer to the public from 1st January 2017**

The BBC also announces today a new Beebview hardware offer for homes using digital terrestrial reception ("Freeview") to provide them with the equipment they need to view the new BBC services.

The BBC has conducted extensive research into the services that will attract sufficient subscription revenues to ensure both profits for BBC shareholders and outstanding programming for subscribers.

BBC premium subscription channels

BBC Premier promises to show 100% first-run British drama, comedy and entertainment all day, everyday. There will be no repeats on BBC Premier.

BBC Premier will show all the current BBC One drama, and then some! There will be an extra visit to the EastEnders every week, as well as Holby Hospital for Children. Every weekday at 9pm will be new, quality British drama.

Each evening will feature a new comedy at 6:30pm: five new slots with everything from the likes of Russell Howard, New Stand Up, as well as sitcoms. At 10pm there will be room for darker, longer and more challenging drama. And as the weekend approaches there will be no end of comedy on BBC Premier.

You will also be able to start your day with Breakfast on BBC Premier.

BBC Two will continue to show interesting and intelligent shows, with a guaranteed first-run documentary each day at 9pm. You will also find new, experimental and edgy comedies as well as lots of old favourites.

A new channel based in Salford, BBC Sport will be the home to live sports coverage from Formula One to Wimbledon. The channel will also carry live Sports News updates throughout the day, as well as interactive social media shows discussing all aspects of British sports.

BBC Four, now showing all day, will now show first-run Arts, Science, History programmes from 7pm until midnight each day, with daytime accessing the archive of lively challenging factual programmes from the channel.

CBBC and CBeebies will continue to show the best British programmes for children, without adverts.

BBC bonus subscription channels

In addition to these channels, the BBC subscription fee will provide viewers with Gold, Dave, Watch, Alibi, Yesterday, Eden, Drama, Good Food, Really and Home.


The BBC will be providing subscription equipment to homes currently using Freeview. Singing up to a two-year contract, Beebview will provide a free high definition set-top box with integrated BBC iPlayer access. Beebview will also manage subscriptions to iPlayer for those without a Sky subscriber number or Virgin code.


BSkyB has provided a deal for Freesat viewer to change to their subscription service at a large discount. Those wishing to still use Freesat can watch BBC News+ and BBC World News without any changes.

BBC free to air channels

The BBC will continue to broadcast the news service, now called BBC News+ free-to-air. In addition to the current schedule, the channel has some new programmes frm BBC One and Two including Panorama, Question Time, This Week, Newsnight.

Due to the closure of BBC Radio 4*, the team from the Today programme will now be seen on BBC News+ from 6am-9am each weekday.

The closure of BBC Parliament*** will be replaced with the BBC World News channel, for those interested in an international news perspective.

BBC News+ and BBC World News will carry adverts.

* See BBC plc, 2017. Radio 4, the last voice.

** The provisions of the New Broadcasting Act 2015 require BBC plc to provide the current Charter services until that runs out, to be funded by the residual TV Licence funds.

*** The BBC is no longer required to provide BBC Parliament, BBC ALBA or S4C and these services will stop broadcasting.

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

Monday, 24 March 2014

3:39 PM

Charles Stuart: Oh dear. I thought that this article was my "best case scenario". I've got several others "game plays" and they are much, much darker.

I my "gameplan", I am assuming that the public service notion is blown away by the new government and that FTA-only sports list is legislated out of existence.

It's always awkward when trying to work out what to do with the programmes you don't personally like: being from a Rugby paying town, I don't understand people's obsession with association football at all.

I just don't get Snooker ... but it seems to fascinate cats, now we have LCD TVs that feline eyes can see.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Nicholas Willmott

4:05 PM

Where have you seen this Brian? Is this just a hypothetical possibility or prediction at the moment? Let's hope it never comes to fruition.

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Nicholas Willmott's 80 posts GB flag

5:19 PM

Nicholas Willmott: I rather hoped that the "BBC press release Wednesday 1st June 2016" would indicate this this is one in a series of "think pieces" about what might happen in the near future with the BBC Charter Renewal process.

The first one is BBC plc, 2017. The new CEO decides between ITV and HBO | BBC 2017 | - 11 years of independent, free digital TV advice

I'm not sure if the BBC is going to get a "status quo and RPI increase Licence Fee" this time. I thought it would be very helpful to think though the consequences of the changes and choices that are made.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

5:59 PM

Briantist: Is it possible that part of your PLC scenario might diverge, with the BBC4/Childrens TV and Radio 3/4 not either dumped or made a premium service, but instead lumped together as some sort of PBS/NPR style service?
This would try to buy off the more disgruntled viewers (look, you still have 'Book of the Week!'), but free up the lucrative bits for commercial exploitation. Of course this would require some government money, but would include the flotsam of BBC Alba, etc, which might continue for political reasons.
Having looked at PBS/NPR, you can see how Conservatives might chose to employ such a model, arguing that charity, community supporters, etc could largely pay for it.

The articles you have written so far are pretty chilling, and hopefully should concentrate the minds of those in the Westminster Village who might be tempted down such a route. Frankly, the more I think about it, the more policy towards the BBC resembles a mixture of 'Robocop' and 'They Live' - we dont need a real life version of either.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Richard E

10:41 PM

I think it looks good ,apart from the sport channel as they will only be televising tiddley -winks ,by then.98% of sport will be between ,Sky , BT, ITV, & maybe chans 4 or 5.I would be very pleased with those plans Brian .

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Richard E's 42 posts GB flag

10:59 PM

All this is gonna be a total disaster;if bbc is slightly tacky now (and it IS), think what it would be like as a private broadcaster, constant rubbish, mediocre standards, poor service and flat dire programming! Bit like current ITV plc which relies less on publicservice unlike it used to do under 17 separate companies under their own agendas schedules and local programmes and quite rightfully kept an eye on by the IBA who set decent standards, knew best and took poor standards to book seriously and brought broadcasters to heel if anything fell out of line. It's unfocussed chaos today!

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Anthony's 70 posts GB flag
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