BBC Three: To Be or Not To Be?

Following the announcement of BBC Three’s move to iPlayer from 2015, many opinions have come out. But #srcz wants to ask is BBC Three worth saving?

How often do you watch BBC Three? For many people the answer may be in the region of rarely to never but for many more, judging by the outcry so far, it’s a resounding yes with as many exclamation marks as possible. A couple of weeks ago we published an article that asked ‘Is Television Really That Bad?’ and we concluded that, actually, it isn’t.

But quality and service are two distinct things but in some ways intimately connected. For many the issue with BBC Three’s relegation to iPlayer is one of a lack of service rather than a quality issue but in a broadcasting sense, they are both relevant. As the only ‘youth’ orientated channel it serves a select audience but it does have a cross-generational appeal as well.

Over the years it has seen some hugely popular drama series premier as part of its remit. Being Human, Torchwood, The Fades and many more are among the shows that have gathered fans beyond the obvious youth appeal of the channel. With no vehicle for these often niche dramas it’s arguable that no BBC Three would mean no more of these shows.

On the other hand, there have also been some frankly excreble shows over the years. Most recently we’ve seen the rather odd Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents, (a lot of money spent to prove the widely acknowledged fact that many teenagers drink, have sex and go to cheap resorts. Shocking!), Snog Marry Avoid, (occasionally fascinatingly ugly viewing with a good base message but ultimately self defeating nature) and the odd shock-doc that doesn’t really seem to go anywhere.

In terms of documentaries, there are some socially valuable ideas that do seem to seek to inspire the viewers rather than blind them with fake tan and vomit, and quite often they are worth watching as well. A glance on current schedules reveals looks at life on Death Row, paramedics on duty and much more besides.

On closer look then, there is some value to the channel then. But will it survive in its current channel seven position? Only time will tell! By all means we should seek to save BBC Three but it remains to be seen if plans will actually proceed as stated so far. If the channel is to be kept, it would certainly be wise to ask for more groundbreaking drama content and cross generational appeal shows rather than continuing down the path of never ending reruns of the often vacuous youth documentaries that seem to cloud the channel in a tan colour recently.

Plus, isn’t it better than another pointless ITV channel?


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