BBC Three is to fill its pre-watershed slots mostly with repeats according to Broadcast.
Broadcast reports that BBC Three is likely to fill its slots between 7pm and 9pm with repeats of its own programmes as well as those from BBC One. Instead BBC Three would be concentrating its money on post watershed programmes instead mostly in the 9pm/10pm slots. The move to focus BBC Three’s budgets more closely on certain slots comes as the corporation seeks to make cuts across its output in light of the licence fee freeze.
BBC Three’s controller, Zai Bennett, has already confirmed the demise of some programmes such as Ideal, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Coming of Age, Lunch Monkeys, How Not to Live your Life as well as Hotter Than My Daughter – all gone to free up money for new programmes. Also under threat of the axe is Snog, Marry, Avoid which may return but with big changes.
However, while BBC Three seems to be intent on retreating from pre-watershed programmes E4, arguably its main rival, is seeking to increase its output pre 9pm. When the American sitcom Friends finally leaves the broadcaster later this year – it has been on endless repeat on E4 for many years – the digital channel will have more money to spend and is looking at new programmes to fill the gap.
The 8pm, the slot Friends currently airs in, will be filled with new entertainment and non-scripted factual programme reports Broadcast – partly on the back of Made in Chelsea‘ success. E4 looks set to redefine the 8pm slot following the exit of Friends at a time when BBC Three will be retreating away from such slots.