BBC Three’s £80m relaunch branded a ‘waste of money’ over disastrous viewing figures
BBC Three’s £80million relaunch has been branded a flop and a ‘complete waste of money’ on disastrous viewing figures.
Many shows drew fewer than 50,000 viewers – and just one a week drew more than 100,000.
The Fast and the Farmer-ish, where young farmers compete to test their favorite tractors, was watched by only 42,890 people.
Mood, about a singer trying to make a career out of it, scored 46,200.
The channel, which had only been online for six years, was relaunched in February following the success of shows such as Normal People and Fleabag.
BBC bosses hoped to hijack young viewers from Netflix and YouTube. But that hasn’t happened yet.
Tory MP Nigel Mills said: ‘It’s typical of the BBC – throwing public money at projects with little planning or worrying about the consequences.
“There is an urgent need to rethink this. It’s a total waste of money. »
The BBC has doubled the channel’s budget at a time when others are being cut – and BBC Four has become an ‘archive’ channel. This also comes after the removal of the free license fee for over 75s.
BBC Three’s early figures were inflated by the projection of the Winter Olympics and the African Cup of Nations football.
Since then, apart from RuPaul’s Drag Race, no show has managed to capture large numbers of viewers.
BARB audience researcher figures only record the top 15 shows, which means most are not even published.
A BBC spokesperson said: “We do not judge a program on a single night rating as it does not reflect actual viewing of the program as there is often more than one opportunity to watch at any one time on air. and online.”