BBC Four to become ‘home’ of archive content amid savings drive

In its annual report the BBC said the channel is ‘less effective at reaching audiences’
BBC Four to become ‘home’ of archive content amid savings drive

By Tom Horton, PA

BBC Four is to become the “home” of archived content and will broadcast fewer original programmes, the BBC has announced.

In its annual plan for 2021/22, the corporation said it will “shift away from commissioning a high volume of lower cost programmes on BBC Four, which are less effective at reaching audiences on the channel and on iPlayer”.

The channel will “become the home of the most distinctive content from across the BBC’s archive”, it added.

The move comes amid a cost-cutting drive from the BBC.

The BBC delivered £880 million (€1 billion) of savings last year compared with spending levels in 2016/17.

The figure is projected to rise to above £950 million next year.

BBC Four will still broadcast performances such as the BBC Proms and BBC Young Musician.

The report also contained further details about the return of BBC Three as a linear television channel next year.

BBC Three ceased operations in 2016 and was replaced by an online-only version available via the iPlayer.

According to the report, the channel will broadcast from 7pm to 4am daily subject to regulatory approval once it returns to television screens.

Children’s channel CBBC will close at 7pm instead of 9pm.

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