Wednesday, 12 August 2015

BBC Three now set to close in March 2016

The BBC has announced that half of the advertising budget it spends on paid-for media this year will be spent solely on promoting the launch of an online-only TV service to replace the BBC3 TV channel.

The corporation said it intends to almost triple BBC3’s budget that is focused on paid-for media, ad space bought on commercial media and not through the use of BBC TV, radio and online inventory, in the year to the end of March 2016.

BBC3 accounted for just 18% of the corporation’s total paid-for media spend in the year to the end of March 2015, according to the corporation’s response to the BBC Trust’s provisional approval of the TV station’s closure, published on Wednesday.

The marketing blitz will include the launch of a new “visual identity” in November, “so audiences can become familiar with the new branding pre-launch”, and a major campaign from January when the service is proposed to go online.

The BBC is proposing to shut the BBC3 TV channel on 1 March.

The BBC also rejected the idea raised by the BBC Trust in June, when it gave provisional approval to the corporation’s plans, that the BBC3 TV channel might be run in parallel with the new online service for a period of time to give the best chance of more viewers making the transition.

The BBC said it would be too expensive to keep running the TV channel until the end of March, costing around £4m more than its proposed plan.

The corporation said its preference is to run a “temporary transitional” channel, which would be “purely promotional” with 12 hours a week of archive programming late at night, through January and February only.