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BBC threatens to take BBC3 off the air, make it online-only

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The BBC’s BBC3 network, known as the birthplace of shows like Torchwood, Little Britain and Being Human, may not be accessible to U.K. residents with an antenna or a cable subscription for much longer. The broadcaster announced Wednesday that it may take the network off the air to save costs. Instead, BBC would become an internet channel that would only be accessible through the BBC’s iPlayer.

Turning to the internet for BBC3 could make sense. The channel is known for having a younger audience that is more likely to stream programming online as well.

bbc iplayer january 2014 numbers

And the BBC’s iPlayer already has a sizeable audience: In January, the BBC clocked 315 million video and audio streams through the platform. Three out of four iPlayer streams are video programming, 25 percent of these video streams get accessed through a smart TV, game console or connected device.

However, it’s not entirely clear that the BBC is going to follow through with its online-only plans for BBC3. Some have speculated that the broadcaster just wanted to cause enough outcry to keep the network financed for the foreseeable future, and a BBC News story helpfully suggested that “celebrities are already rallying behind the service.”

Image courtesy of Flickr user ell brown.

4 Responses to “BBC threatens to take BBC3 off the air, make it online-only”

  1. At least the BBC is putting those tax dollars to work. PBS refuses to make an Android app.

    It’s incredible. You can practically hear the faint call of, “We’re paid government developers who don’t have the basic skills necessary to do our jobs” coming from the article. A private company would kick those idiots to the curb. It basically kills any chance we’ll see a Chromecast app in the future. Not that I really watch PBS, but I like Sherlock. I started it on the Roku app, but I think I’ll wait until the 3rd season hits Netflix.

  2. macertx

    Meh, any website that sends me this message “This video is not available in your country.” when trying to watch their content is simply reported to the local firewall and the browser. BBC is one of them.

    • mike154

      I’m fine with that. Ideally, service should only be provided to UK licence-fee payers. That can’t be enforced in reality, so they operate on the next best thing – by IP location.

      I see nothing wrong with that.

      From the UK, I can’t access HBO, or many other US services. Whether that’s rights issues, I don’t know.

      But the internet isn’t without borders.