LONDON — The BBC’s proposal to close its linear youth TV channel BBC Three in the UK but to go on publishing its shows online under the same brand will have little impact for a service already heavily consumed online, says the corporation’s future media director.
“The BBC is the first broadcaster to go online-only with one of its channels,” Ralph Rivera tells Beet.TV. “That demographic has the highest propensity for consuming video online. Changing the means of transport from regular TV, via satellite or terrestrial, to internet provision isn’t going to be that big a change for them.”
But Rivera admits he calls that “the glass-half-full version” of a plan designed to cut costs and divert money to core BBC services.
Rivera says iPlayer, the BBC’s UK catch-up TV service, has clocked 10 billion digital downloads of the linear broadcast TV shows it hosts on an on-demand basis since inception six years ago. Next, it will open up to offer more short-form, made-for-online and snackable mobile shows. Rivera also says use of data is helping the BBC become “better at matching you and your interests with content that we’ve already produced”.
Beet.TV spoke with him at the FT Digital Media Conference. To view all our coverage of the conference, visit this page.