BBC cuts and changes: your channel-by-channel TV guide

How Delivering Quality First will change your television channels

The BBC today announced the results of its Delivering Quality First consultation that will see extensive cuts across BBC channels and up to 2,000 job losses. Here’s our channel-by-channel guide to how the cuts will affect your BBC television and radio stations:


To read more about the announcement click here and for a station-by-station radio guide click here

BBC1 (-3% projected change in content spend by 2017)

The Corporation’s flagship television channel receives one of the smallest direct budget cuts, with only a three per cent reduction. 

However, viewers can expect a “small reduction” in the number of peak-time entertainment shows in the future – but “shiny floor” Saturday-night programmes will remain. 

BBC1 will become the home of new general daytime programming, as BBC2 ceases to show original shows during daytime. 

Mid-morning and 3pm news summaries are to be scrapped.

Reduction in number of acquired feature films and television series.

New investment in drama and comedy, but a reduction in sports spending.

BBC2 (-6.1% projected change in content spend by 2017)

Daytime schedule to feature international news and current affairs programmes at lunchtime.

The rest of the daytime schedule will be made up of repeats, primarily focused on science, history, natural history and the arts.  Some sport coverage will remain.

Fewer chat shows and panel shows will be produced by BBC2 primetime, but investment in drama and comedy will be maintained.

More arts and music programming is to be shared with sister channel BBC4.

BBC3 (-10% projected change in content spend by 2017)

The digital channel is given the specific challenge of acting as a “programme nursery” for BBC1 in terms of presenters and programming. Along with BBC4, the channel will be expected to work more closely on projects and programming with its terrestrial counterpart.

There will be a reduction in the number of drama, music and entertainment programmes produced by the channel.  

BBC4 (-9.6% projected change in content spend by 2017)

Just as BBC3 is to work closer with BBC1, BBC4 is to “refocus” and “play a more complementary role” with regard to BBC2.  

There will be a reduction in spending on original UK drama.

Factual programmes to focus on more specialist matter. 

BBC News (-6% projected change in content spend by 2017)

There will be a greater emphasis on news gathering and presentation, with fewer features and less spending on areas such as arts, culture and science. 

More reuse of BBC News programming.

Generally, there will be a small reduction in BBC News and changes in politics and current affairs coverage.  The scope of news remains “relatively protected”.

BBC HD  (-75.7% projected change in content spend by 2017)


The existing BBC HD channel will be replaced with a dedicated BBC2 HD channel to broadcast alongside BBC1 HD. All national versions of BBC1 will be available in HD by the end of this year.