It has been a few weeks since the news broke of BBC Three’s axing in favour of moving solely to an online presence. Many an angry tweet has been sent, and many a student has wondered what they will do without endless repeats of Russell Howard’s Good News or Family Guy.
But fear not! There are some developments occurring in the sparkly mist that is the media industry. Current Controller of BBC Three, Zai Bennett, has jumped ship to Sky Atlantic, and having worked to create countless provoking seasons of programming and earning the channel shelves of awards for its comedy and original programming, we bid him farewell with a wave and a sniffle. But where does this leave our precarious BBC channel?
In the wake of his departure, a few more details and some speculation have surfaced on the murky waters of the channel’s future. The BBC is keen to stipulate that the planned move to online-only is still subject to the approval of the BBC Trust. While the money- saving benefits will probably swing in its favour, there’s still some possibility of it not being approved. However, if it is approved, it is expected BBC Three will stop broadcasting as of autumn 2015.
Even at present, BBC Three and Online are becoming more intertwined, as the recent announcement about Chris Lilley’s newest comedy creation, Jonah from Tonga, proved. Lilley’s series will be released in full online , two days before it begins weekly broadcast on television. Admittedly, it is only two days, but it’s been speculated that this shows the beginnings of potential development into the iPlayer into commissioning its own content; just as Netflix has started doing with Orange is the New Black, House of Cards and many more.
Discussions also broke surrounding the potential merging of the role of Director of BBC Three and a new role of ‘iPlayer Controller’ (well doesn’t that sound fancy?). The iPlayer role would give the person in charge a budget of a few million to play with and they would have equal status to the other channel controllers.
So, since the original news broke, it seems the picture has become a little sunnier, just in time for summer. Worry not BBC loyalists! We are set to be looked after if these stories are anything to judge by.