The BBC Trust has released more details about the changes and reduction in services to the BBC channels and radios stations in light of their budget cuts.
BBC1 and BBC2
On other changes to BBC1 and BBC2, the BBC Trust said the two main channels would be largely protected from making significant cuts to the scope of their peak time content and output, with changes targeting less valued parts of the schedule.
BBC1 would see a small reduction in peak-time entertainment shows and the number of repeats aired in peak time would rise.
“Under this plan they will remain below 10% which we believe is an acceptable level,” said the BBC Trust.
In addition, BBC1 would stop broadcasting mid-morning and 3pm news summaries and see a small reduction in the number of new programmes broadcast after the 10pm news.
BBC1 is also reducing the minimum hours of arts and music from 45 to 40, achieved through cutting episodes of shows in particular Film 2013.
BBC2 would make slightly fewer entertainment, panel and chat shows and would continue to show international news and current affairs at lunchtime and repeats of factual programmes from the corporation’s archive and some live sport.
BBC2’s minimum hours of arts and music will be dropped from 200 to 150, first run factual programming hours will be cut from 520 to 375.
BBC3 and BBC4
The BBC Trust said that BBC3 and BBC4 would remain valuable but would suffer budget cuts and would support the flagship channels with more co-ordinated commissioning and scheduling.
BBC3 would reduce drama, music and entertainment programming and focus on appealing to younger audiences.
BBC4 would cut investment in UK original drama and some specialist factual output, the funding for which would move to BBC2, and take a clearer lead role in arts and cultural output.
BBC3’s minimum hours of arts and music changed from 35 to 30, first run factual programming cut from 125 to 100.
BBC4’s minimum hours of arts and music increased from 100 to 150, factual programming is to be dropped from 110 to 60.
The BBC is also cutting back its sports right budget by 15%, with the BBC Trust noting that a good deal of this target had already been achieved through its shared broadcast deal with BSkyB for Formula One.
The BBC Trust has given guidance on how the sport rights budget should be spent telling the corporation to prioritise events that have the “greatest national resonance” and provide airtime for minority sports.
BBC News will see about 800 job cuts and as well as cuts in the BBC1 bulletins, a reduction in party conference coverage and fewer features and special reports on the BBC News Channel.
There will also be a “small reduction” in lighter current affairs output and the “targeted reinvestment in investigative resources for Panorama”.
BBC News channel will also not have to broadcast business and personal finance each hour and there will no longer be co-presenters at the scene of a “breaking major international story”.
Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra will share news bulletins, outside of breakfast programmes, and will simulcast between 2am and 4am.
Radio 1 will also replace regional late night shows with a single UK-wide programme, a proposal that was strongly opposed by the public and a number of established musicians with more than 7,000 signatories in Scotland, 6,400 in Northern Ireland and 556 in Wales.
However, the BBC Trust remained unbowed and said the current schedule represents “poor value for money”.
Radio 2 will reduce live music broadcasts, to be replaced by more repeats of shows like Friday Night is Music Night, and the amount of comedy programming. Radio 6Music will share some news output with Radio 2.
Radio 3 will have about 25% fewer live and specially recorded lunchtime concerts, fewer orchestral concerts in the evening, which will be replaced with chamber and instrumental concerts, and less contemporary music for Hear and Now.
Overall the number of specially recorded Radio 3 performances will be reduced from 500 to 400 annually, while new drama productions will be cut from 35 to 25 a year.
Radio 4 will have a “limited” change to programming with a 2% increase in the number of repeats and a small reduction in factual and current affairs budgets. Radio 4 Extra will see a 30% reduction in originated programmes.
Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra have been tasked with reducing costs for overnight programming and sports presentation, ending some Sunday programmes including comedy in the morning.
The BBC had planned to drop a one-hour weekly current affairs show on Radio 5 Live, however the BBC Trust overturned this proposal and the programme has been moved to a more prominent slot to boost the audience.
The Asian Network has been saved from closure, however it will no longer broadcast between midnight and 6am. There will be a £1.7m cut to its annual content budget, about 18%; the amount of music will rise from 50% to 60% of output, although this will be split 50/50 during daytime; there will be reductions in sports coverage, drama and bespoke documentaries.
The BBC Trust said that it agrees “in principle” with plans to reduce medium wave transmission for local radio where there is duplicate FM coverage. However, the BBC Trust has told the corporation to do more work to establish costs and impact across the UK before it makes a decision.
HD and red button
The BBC HD channel is to be shut in order to allow a simulcast HD channel for BBC2 to be launched, along with BBC1 HD channels for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The BBC Red Button interactive service has “substantial costs” and as a result the number of video streams on satellite and cable TV will be cut from nine to just one. The news multi-screen service will be shut.
“It is a new experience for the BBC to see its income fall significantly in real terms,” said the BBC Trust. “We understand this has been a difficult process for staff and that some licence fee payers will be disappointed by some of the particular choices we have taken as they become apparent on air.”