Diluted daytime 

7 March 2011 tbs.pm/1250

You know that the BBC is in serious financial trouble when it’s now floating an idea to replace daytime BBC Two with rolling news, aka BBC News 24 or the BBC News Channel (the latter being the new name which hardly ever seems to be used outside of the BBC).

Whether or not this will actually happen is anyone’s guess, but judging from the sound of budget cuts being made elsewhere within the corporation it seems inevitable that BBC management has now finally (and somewhat belatedly) reached the point where it simply has to swallow its pride and seriously consider such stringent money-saving measures.

(Even though you might have thought that “Diagnosis: Murder” repeats don’t cost that much in the first place.)

Of course such a proposal is not totally unlike a trip back in time to 1985; an altogether more sedate era before the news-ridden hype of today, or so it seemed:

“Rolling news” seems to be a modern broadcasting-related Pavlovian response to any situation where cheap filler material is required, regardless of the fact that having two channels essentially broadcasting the same thing is rather stupid to say the least, even though they just about get away with doing such a thing overnight on BBC One.

Perhaps instead of yet more repetitive news coverage the BBC ought to display a static caption along the lines of the following:

“We’re sorry that we can’t broadcast anything on this channel at the moment, but this is due to a shortage of money caused by a less than favourable TV licence fee settlement. Mark Thompson is a complete <censored>. Yours sincerely, the BBC.”

Or, much better still, show some old interlude films and colour trade test transmissions instead along with a glimpse of the test card. You know that makes sense.

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3 responses to this article

Chad H. 7 March 2011 at 11:55 pm

Seems like a good spot to put some Goodies repeats… Or whatever it is they show on BBC 4.

T.A. Walker 8 March 2011 at 9:16 am

Someone in the comments on the Guardian article you linked to, suggested that if BBC2 stops its daytime service, they should open it up to “public access” videos. Could be fun – a sort of “Video Nation Daytime”, or as another commenter put it, “YouTube On Two”…

Failing that, I’d be happy with interlude films and glimpses of “Carole and the clown”… but then I’m probably typical of your audience ;-)

Alan Keeling 3 August 2011 at 7:58 pm

Regarding the latest news about the BBC cuts and rumours of Test Card F at night. How about nite-time re-broadcasts of good old Test Card C.

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