The BBC has confirmed it is pressing ahead with plans to transform BBC Four, despite concerns over long-term funding.
Last year, the BBC announced its intention to transition BBC Four into archive and performance channel. Since then, BBC Four has continued to screen a small number of new programmes.
And since the announcement that the BBC’s funding will be reduced in the coming years, BBC bosses have questioned the ongoing existence of the channel.
Now the BBC has confirmed it will continue to reduce the number of new programmes on the channel, with arts & culture programming premiering on BBC Two. BBC Four will continue to screen arts & music performances, such as selected Proms.
The BBC is already using BBC Two to screen special music-themed nights, once a mainstay of BBC Four. This Saturday, BBC Two’s evening offer of Top of the Pop-related specials results in a BBC Four style schedule.
Meanwhile, the BBC has also confirmed it will continue to develop the BBC iPlayer. It says millions of people prefer to watch BBC content through the streaming service. Overall, it aims to achieve greater value to audiences, despite limited resources. With the exception of BBC Three, its remaining channels tend to be consumed by the same, narrow group of viewers, giving some audiences less value for their money.
The BBC has recently boosted the amount of older BBC Four content on the iPlayer. At the beginning of the month, it added numerous international dramas, a genre that was once a core part of BBC Four’s remit.