BBC to Ax CBBC, BBC Four; Wants to Reach 75% of Audience via iPlayer Every Week

(Image credit: BBC)

The BBC has announced plans to ax some of its linear channels as it looks to make further savings following the decision to freeze the license fee.

As part of its plans, the broadcaster plans to stop broadcasting smaller linear channels, such as CBBC and BBC Four, “after the next few years”.

It also intends to create a single, 24-hour TV news channel serving UK and international audiences, called BBC News, which it says will offer greater amounts of shared content, but “maintain the ability to offer separate broadcasts depending on what’s happening at home and abroad”.

The corporation has also set out an ambition to reach 75 per cent of BBC viewers through iPlayer each week; and intends to offer viewers new on-demand content and formats for news and current affairs. It will ask Ofcom to remove regulatory restrictions on iPlayer to expand boxsets and archive content.

In a speech to BBC staff, director general Tim Davie said: “This is our moment to build a digital-first BBC. Something genuinely new, a Reithian organization for the digital age, a positive force for the UK and the world.

“Driven by the desire to make life and society better for our license fee payers and customers in every corner of the UK and beyond,” added Davie. “They want us to keep the BBC relevant and fight for something that in 2022 is more important than ever.

“To do that we need to evolve faster and embrace the huge shifts in the market around us.”

Work will start immediately, with further details to be announced in the coming months, including consultations with staff.

Davie added: “I believe in a public service BBC for all, properly funded, relevant for everyone, universally available, and growing in the on-demand age. This plan sets us on that journey.”

This article originally appeared on sister brand TVBEurope.

Jenny Priestley

Jenny has worked in the media throughout her career, joining TVBEurope as editor in 2017. She has also been an entertainment reporter, interviewing everyone from Kylie Minogue to Tom Hanks; as well as spending a number of years working in radio. She continues to appear on radio every week and occasionally pops up on TV.