I hadn’t intended to write again about the decision to shift BBC Three online, but while I agree with the change, I think it’s worth placing on record that the BBC could have handled the news far better than it did.
What bosses should have said is this:
“BBC Three played an important part in helping audiences take up digital, multi-channel TV and helped deliver one of the world’s smoothest Digital Switch Overs.
“Just as the past decade saw TV move from 5 channels to hundreds, so the next few years will see more and more content delivered via broadband and the internet.
“We believe BBC Three has a big role to play in helping Licence Fee payers and viewers discover this world of ‘Smart’ and connected TV.
“The BBC has directly backed and invested in two connected platforms – YouView and Freesat
“But we can do more.
“By making BBC Three the first wholly internet delivered channel from a major broadcaster, the BBC shows that it both remains ready to innovate and continues to be a supportive friend to audiences as they encounter and adopt new and emerging technologies.”
And this far less defensive announcement could’ve been backed up with a commitment to work with connected platforms to remove the need for audiences to understand or care about the distinction between broadcast and streamed TV.
So while they’ve made the right decision, BBC bosses have missed an opportunity to benefit from it and caused themselves days of needless PR pain.