How to shoot oneself in the foot – a lesson brought to you by the BBC

I realise it’s been such a long time since my last post, honestly I haven’t had a great deal to say. The government has continued to ruin the country and I have continued to plod on with my degree.

With this in mind, I like to think you’ll forgive the randomness of this particular post.
So, what have I got an opinion about this time…?

It was announced maybe two weeks ago that BBC3 is going to be taken off air and run on iPlayer instead, due to the ‘young audiences’ being ‘ the most mobile and ready to move to an online world’. Some ballsy generalisation from the recently re-appointed BBC Director General, Tony Hall.

One might ask what the problem is; it’s not a very popular channel anyway, not in comparison to BBC One. Well of course, but BBC3 has always been targeted towards younger audiences, with a mixture of low quality programs such as ‘Snog Marry Avoid’ mixed in with Panorama-inspired investigative shows, and opportunities for young people to have their say in the hugely popular ‘Free Speech’.
Hall hides behind the excuse that ‘the BBC is, by its nature and history, an organisation that constantly reinvents itself, […] and makes it relevant for each generation’ which is why he is attempting to broaden the use for the iPlayer function. I understand his argument, I believe BBC iPlayer is a particularly useful bit of kit, however I don’t agree with the motives.

How can he suggest that axing the only program made solely for Young People makes the BBC ‘relevant for each generation’? While we could maybe do without slightly less important shows like ‘Snog Marry Avoid’, one would argue it would be unfair for young people to be left with nothing for themselves while channels such as BBC4 remain on-air. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who has actually sat down and purposefully watched BBC4.

You can guarantee the majority of the shows aired on the channel would gladly fit in at BBC2; programs on BBC3 however…
Hall also suggests that by getting rid of BBC3, the company would be saving an astonishing £50 Million, ploughing £30million of that money back into BBC One drama, so shows such as ‘Dr Who’ and the ‘The Musketeers’.

Now I’m no media big-wig, however it certainly makes no sense throwing money at shows that already have a huge following, complete with merchandise that brings the BBC even more money. It seems particularly unjust when some of the big names in the Beeb, such as Jeremy Clarkson, receive contracts worth £14million and produce shows that fly out to Australia to see if cars were upside down there, or Dubai to play with a car twice the size of the most trumped-up Range Rover in history.
While I’m a big fan of ‘Top Gear’, I do at times find it quite over-the-top. Knowing I’m one of many that have paid for those three to have fun drag-racing down a runway, can be quite a difficult pill to swallow.

By suggesting the BBC would be saving £50million is quite amusing, particularly when they could quite clearly save in other areas. BBC3 should remain on-air in order to keep Young People engaged in the media. The CEO’s need to remember the young people they are essentially shunning, are the ones that will be paying the license fee, every year, for the rest of their lives. Providing they don’t already!

In short, the BBC would do well not to bite the hand that feeds them.


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