BBC Three audience collapses after going digital-only | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
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One of the most notable parts of the cost-cutting imposed on the BBC was the decision taken to remove youth-oriented channel BBC Three from the linear grid but despite being the original home to subsequent major programmes, the action has seen its audience fallen off a cliff.
Killing Eve3 Cromer 17Feb2020
BBC Three stopped broadcasting on the UK’s broadcast network as of February 2016 following a review by the BBC Trust in November 2015 which called for the corporation’s non-core channels – including BBC Three as well as CBBC and BBC One+1 – to go digital-only. The Trust said that its plans would enable the BBC to deliver more distinctive content online, while bearing down on costs.

Yet while undoubtedly cutting costs, the move, as revealed by Enders Analysis, has led to audiences disappearing in masses despite being the original home for smash hit TV series Gavin And Stacey, Little Britain and Torchwood as a linear channels and then subsequently Fleabag, Normal People and Killing Eve as a digital offer.

Enders said that annual viewing minutes of BBC Three programming were down by more than 70% compared to its last year of linear TV broadcasting, and weekly reach amongst its target demographic of 16-34s had fallen by around 70%. This represented a loss far greater than those of other TV channels. This was despite Normal People driving the digital channel to its best week ever for programme requests on iPlayer in May 2020, more than doubling the previous record.

In announcing its analysis and prospects for the channel, Enders noted that what was more difficult to assess are the effects of the shift in BBC Three’s content strategy. Comedy programming, for example, proportionally shrank in terms of the total volume available while receiving a greater share of consumption, in direct contrast to factual content’s fate.