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BBC makes popular TV channel 'online only' to cut costs (update)

Sharif Sakr
03.05.14
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The BBC TV channel that spawned comedic classics like Little Britain and Gavin & Stacey looks set to be taken off-air as part of a cost-cutting drive. BBC Three won't be killed off completely, however -- if regulators approve, the plan is to make it an online-only channel that would somehow still serve up fresh content aimed at 16- to 34-year-olds, but do so more cheaply. The idea isn't hugely shocking, perhaps, given the recent pressure on the BBC's taxpayer-funded budget and the increasing focus on iPlayer as an alternative to terrestrial broadcasts. Nevertheless, many critics have already spoken out, including the star of Little Britain, Matt Lucas, who said it would be "bad for comedy." There's a #SaveBBC3 movement gathering steam on Twitter and, if history is anything to go by, it might actually have a chance of succeeding -- a move to shut down BBC Radio 6 was reversed following a similar outcry back in 2010.

Update: Aaaaaand it's official. If the BBC Trust approve, BBC Three will be closed in the fall of 2015, with £30 million of its budget going to BBC One and the rest of the programming becoming online-only.

Source: BBC, (2)
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