26 MAY 2022

CBBC and BBC Four will stop airing as linear broadcast channels

The BBC has plans to stop airing CBBC and BBC Four as traditional broadcast channels, as it aims to “build a digital-first BBC,” the company’s Director-General, Tim Davie, declared.

26 MAY 2022

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The BBC has plans to stop airing CBBC and BBC Four as traditional broadcast channels. The company’s Director-General, Tim Davie, announced the content of these networks will continue to be produced and made available for online platforms. This means they would only be available on BBC iPlayer, with Radio 4 Extra moving to BBC Sounds, rather than via their traditional broadcast outlets.

Furthermore, Davie added that the corporation's two news channels – one for the UK and another one for world audiences – will be merged into one. The newly merged news channel will mean a single, 24-hour broadcast, simply called BBC News, serving UK and international audiences and offering greater amounts of shared content. All of these changes, however, will not apply for at least another three years.

The changes proposed are part of cost-saving measures, which the BBC said are part of a bigger plan to create a "modern, digital-led and streamlined organization."  The changes announced would mean cuts of £200 million a year and the reorganization of services which prioritize digital platforms.

Overall, the group’s plans could mean up to 1.000 job losses in the publicly-funded part of the corporation over the next few years. Davie said the BBC would consult with trade unions on the proposals.

Speaking to BBC staff on Thursday, Davie commented: “This is our moment to build a digital-first BBC. Something genuinely new, a Reithian organization for the digital age, a positive force for the UK and the world. Independent, impartial, constantly innovating and serving all. A fresh, new, global digital media organization which has never been seen before.”  The Director-General also told staff that too many BBC resources are currently focused on broadcast output rather than online. "We are moving decisively to a largely on-demand world," he remarked.

This is our moment to build a digital-first BBC” Tim Davie Director-General of BBC