When the BBC revealed plans to move BBC3 online earlier this year, Director-General Tony Hall claimed it was to better cater for a youth audience which is “the most mobile and ready to move to an online world.”
But today’s summary of BBC iPlayer’s viewing figures from March 2014 appears to tell a different story, with just three BBC3 programmes listed in the top 20 most-requested shows of that month.
The rest of the list is populated by programmes from BBC1 and BBC2, with Top Gear topping the requests at 3.32m for their Burma Special part 1, followed by The Voice UK battle rounds and the final ever episode of Outnumbered.
When Hall first made the announcement he had plenty of figures to support his decision, telling us that 25% of viewing by 16-24 year olds is on catch up or other screens, a total he expects to rise to 40% over the next few years.
But, judging by today’s figures, head of television Danny Cohen’s admission that there is “undoubtedly a strong counter-argument” to the digital shift looks equally valid. It seems like BBC3 hasn’t quite mastered that strong online following just yet.