"Shoved Online": BBC Three, British Television and the Marginalisation of Young Adult Audiences

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In March 2014, the BBC announced that it was to close the television channel BBC Three as a traditional broadcaster, and it would instead be ‘reinvented as a new and innovative online service’ (BBC Press Office, 2014a) with original material continuing to be produced that would be delivered by this alternative platform. This was a startling moment, particularly as the BBC’s Director General, Tony Hall, noted that ‘This is the first time in the BBC’s history that we are proposing to close a television channel’ (cited by BBC Press Office, 2014a), while the Director of Television, Danny Cohen, called it ‘the biggest strategic decision the BBC has made in over a decade’ (cited by BBC Press Office, 2014a). Cohen noted this was ‘an extremely difficult decision born out of financial necessity’ (cited by BBC Press Office, 2014a), following new responsibilities facing the BBC that required it, without any additional income, to fund the BBC World Service and BBC Monitoring, as well as developing ‘an expanded partnership and funding agreement with the Welsh language television service S4C’ (BBC Press Office, 2010). Referring to these circumstances, Hall noted that ‘the BBC has taken incremental change as far as it can’, adding that ‘Something has to give’ (cited by BBC Press Office, 2014a); the planned closure of BBC Three, then, is a consequence of institutional and economic circumstances in which the corporation decided that the loss of one service was preferable to the small-scale disruption of a wider number of services.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedia, Margins and Popular Culture
EditorsHeather Savigny, Einar Thorsen, Daniel Jackson, Jenny Alexander
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic) 978-1-137-51281-9
ISBN (Print) 978-1-137-51280-2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • television
  • BBC
  • young adults
  • BBC Three
  • online

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