UK’s BBC4 to end commissions & transition to archive service

The Thick of It

UK pubcaster the BBC is to end commissions for its BBC4 channel, which will instead become an archive service, according to the corporation’s newly published annual plan.

The decision, revealed in the BBC Annual Plan 2021/22, comes as part of the BBC’s push to achieve £950m in savings by next year and following the recent announcement that the corporation would be doubling investment in arts and music on BBC2 over the next two years.

This approach will necessitate a shift away from commissioning a high volume of lower cost programmes on BBC4, which are less effective at reaching audiences on the channel and on iPlayer,” said the BBC.

“Instead, BBC4 will become the home of the most distinctive content from across the BBC’s archive. It will also remain the home for performance such as the BBC Proms, BBC Young Dancer and BBC Young Musician, will continue to showcase arts and music acquisitions and maintain its unique role in partnering with arts institutions.”

Previous BBC4 commissions including comedies such as Charlie Brooker’s Screen WipeDetectorists and The Thick Of It.

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