The British television viewing public will finally be able to have their say about the proposed closure of BBC3 as a traditional broadcast channel from tomorrow, RadioTimes.com can reveal.
On Tuesday morning, the BBC Trust’s Public Value Test (PVT) will formally invite submissions from viewers and other interested parties over the proposed closure.
Viewers are expected to be told they can submit their comments via an online public consultation.
However the PVT will also contain an analysis of the public value of the proposed closure on the whole TV market with a Market Impact Assessment (MIA) undertaken by broadcasting regulator Ofcom.
“The Trust’s priority throughout will be to listen to the views of audiences and stakeholders,” the body has said.
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, Him & Her and In the Flesh – the latter having been axed even before the channel leaves the airwaves.
The whole PVT procedure is expected to take around six months to complete, with the channel scheduled to be taken off air in October 2015.
However those opposing the move will be hoping for a repeat of 2010 when the Trust overruled 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.
The BBC’s executive has already formally submitted plans to close BBC3 and plough the savings into other areas of the BBC, with an extra £30m going to TV drama.
It has said that BBC3 will follow the maxims “Make me laugh” and “Make me think” by focusing on comedy and serious factual programmes when it ceases as a broadcast channel.
The BBC has said BBC3 would be “reinvented as a new and innovative online service”.