The BBC today announced plans to kill Channel Three -- the No 1 channel in the U.K. for the 16 to 34-year old age bracket -- to save about $75M a year.
In announcing the move, Tony Hall, BBC director-general, noted the financial pressures faced by the broadcaster hit with flat license fees and additional costs connected with its World Service and broadband expense.
His game plan is to reposition BBC Three as an online news entity with a late 2015 launch with its long-form content shifted to BBC One or Two.
Hall said BBC Three will be the first time the Beeb has ever shut down a TV station and added: “I can’t rule out it being the last change to our programs or services.”
BBC will direct about $45M of its shutdown savings to add more drama and children’s shows.
Hall said he’s determined to embrace new technology and produce the quality viewing fare that “is simply the best in the world.”
BBC Three launched in 2003.