The BBC has announced that it will reposition BBC4 as an archive service as part of the corporation’s newly published Annual Plan.
The move comes as part of the BBC’s drive to deliver £950m in savings by 21/22. By the end of 20/21 the BBC will have delivered £880m of annual recurring savings since 16/17.
The BBC has announced plans to double spending on arts and music programming with a focus on “unique, high impact content, commissioning fewer but bigger titles of higher quality that can reach more audiences and with more opportunities for creative innovation.”
It said that “this approach will necessitate a shift away from commissioning a high volume of lower cost programmes on BBC Four, which are less effective at reaching audiences on the channel and on iPlayer. Instead, BBC Four will become the home of the most distinctive content from across the BBC’s archive.”
BBC4 has previously commissioned shows including The Detectorists and the Charlie Brooker Wipe programmes.
The BBC says the channel will continue to be the “home for performance” including events like the BBC Proms, BBC Young Dancer and BBC Young Musician and will “continue to showcase arts and music acquisitions and maintain its unique role in partnering with arts institutions.”
But the proposed changes to BBC Four “will build on the channel’s current archive content offer which already comprises 76% of BBC Four’s broadcast hours and 69% of the channel’s broadcast viewing hours.”