The death knell of BBC Three broadcasts has just got a little bit louder, as the BBC Trust announces the channel is set to move to online-only.
It was proposed that BBC Three would move away from conventional broadcasting last summer, but the switch has now been provisionally accepted.
“The Trust’s provisional conclusion is that the public value test is passed and that it should approve this proposal,” reads a BBC Trust press release.
What’s more, the Trust claims that those aged between 16 and 34 are the most likely to use online video services, and says it wants to serve this audience in “new ways”.
The release continues: “Ofcom’s market impact assessment suggests that the switch to an online service is likely to create a positive market impact for rival TV channels.”
The BBC does highlight some concerns over the switch, however, namely a “project loss of reach” for younger viewers and other “under-served” demographics. Those without reliable broadband are also mentioned.
The decision still awaits final approval from the BBC Trust Executive, and there’s no clear deadline for this just yet. However, the proposed plans see BBC Three going off-air in January 2016, so it’ll be before then.
The Trust also revealed that it has provisionally declined last year’s proposals for a BBC One +1 channel.
It scrapped the idea because Ofcom said the move would reduce the profitability of ITV and Channel 5, and because such a channel would have a “limited impact on reach” to the 16 to 34-year-old demographic.
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