BBC licence fee: Baroness Hoey calls for it to be 'abolished'
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Conservative MP Julian Knight, the chair of the influential digital, culture, media, and sport (DCMS) committee told Express.co.uk the broadcaster needed to have more creative ideas on how to appeal to younger viewers. He spoke to this website following the publication of a report by his committee on the future of public service broadcasting.
The group warned that with the rise in competition from online subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon, it was important the BBC worked with other broadcasters such as ITV to pool resources to compete.
It also criticised the Government for failing to invest in the broadband infrastructure despite the future of broadcast being online.
Despite the long-term trend of a move to online, at the start of March the BBC announced BBC Three would be returning to TV from January 2022.
Mr Knight told Express.co.uk: “Their answer to the future is putting back the block six years.
He criticised the broadcaster for not having a bolder vision to secure its long term future.
The Solihull MP added: “25 years ago the BBC was a very medium-sized, global, public broadcaster.
“And then they expanded into everything, I think possibly to the detriment of the wider media landscape within the UK, and it seemed to take on absolutely everything.
“But now it’s been gazumped or big-footed by the likes of Netflix and Amazon.
“That is really dangerous for the likes of the BBC because they take their audience away.
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“But if they think to keep their young audience with mixed martial arts and putting BBC Three on terrestrial TV, I’m afraid they have another thing coming.”
The BBC said it had taken the decision to reverse its move to put BBC Three online only in 2015 because there was still a significant group of younger viewers who watch linear television.
It added the channel had proven to be a major success and it was hoped returning it to TV screens would help engage a larger number of young people.
It will focus on audiences aged 16-34 and will broadcast from 7pm to 4am every day.
Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer said: “BBC Three is a BBC success story, backing creativity, new talent and brave ideas has resulted in hit after hit, from Fleabag and Man Like Mobeen, Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK and Jesy Nelson’s Odd One Out, to Normal People and This Country.
“The BBC needs to back success and make sure its programmes reach as many young people as possible wherever they live in the UK.
“So regardless of the debates about the past, we want to give BBC Three its own broadcast channel again.
“It has exciting, groundbreaking content that deserves the widest possible audience and using BBC iPlayer alongside a broadcast channel will deliver the most value.”
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