At the start of March this year, it was announced that BBC3 may cease to exist as a television channel. The channel is currently a 9 hour broadcaster (it is on air from 7pm until about 4am) and is aimed at an audience aged between 16 and 34.
The plans to move the channel’s content online come as the BBC must reduce its spending amongst nationwide cuts. The BBC decided to prioritise its other television channels: BBC One as it is the channel that appeals to a mass audience and BBC Two/Four as part of a plan to increase arts programming. This suggests that by prioritising these channels the BBC as a public service broadcaster is fulfilling its ideals of entertainment (BBC One), education (BBC Two/Four) and information (BBC One/Two/Four).On a basic level, this move seems logical: BBC Three’s programming is not beneficial to audiences with regards to the Reithian ideals. There are examples of programmes that are counterarguments to the statement I have just made but then again, what does Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents really contribute to society apart from a voyeuristic insight into teenage hedonism?
The move has to be approved by the BBC Trust and will not happen until at least Autumn 2015. However, the announcement provoked an outcry on Twitter (mostly from those stars who’d benefitted from the channel) and a petition has been created to #savebbc3.