TV viewers will finally be able to submit their views about the proposed closure of BBC3 as a traditional broadcast channel next month.
The Public Value Assessment (PVA) test was automatically triggered today after the BBC executive formally submitted the closure proposals to the BBC Trust, the body that regulates and oversees the BBC’s management.
This means that the Trust will now consider the views of the channel’s viewers with an online public consultation starting in January.
There will also be an analysis of the proposed closure on the whole TV market with a Market Impact Assessment (MIA) undertaken by the Trust in consultation with broadcasting regulator Ofcom.
“The Trust’s priority throughout will be to listen to the views of audiences and stakeholders,” the body said in a statement today.
Once the consultation begins, many viewers will be expected to voice their opposition to the closure of the eleven year old digital channel which has brought us hit shows including Bluestone 42, Being Human and Him & Her.
Usually this procedure takes around six months to complete, with the channel scheduled to be taken off air in October 2015.
Those opposing the move will be hoping that the Trust will block the proposal as it did in 2010 over plans to axe radio station 6 Music.
The specialist music channel had been lined up for closure by the BBC but was ultimately saved by the Trust which overturned the decision.
BBC director-general Tony Hall has already outlined pans to close BBC3 in autumn 2015 and plough the savings into other areas of the BBC, with an extra £30m going to TV drama.
The BBC has said BBC3 would be “reinvented as a new and innovative online service”.