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The BBC have announced they that are closing down children’s channel CBBC in a major channel shake-up
The broadcasting company says that audiences, especially younger viewers, are just not engaging with the channels due to streaming platforms like Netflix.
BBC Director-General, Tim Davies said in a statement that this move will enable them to build a ‘digital-first BBC’.
Davies continued, “Something genuinely new, a Reithian organization for the digital age, a positive force for the UK and the world. Independent, impartial, constantly innovating and serving all. A fresh, new, global digital media organization which has never been seen before.”
Before adding, “They want us to keep the BBC relevant and fight for something that in 2022 is more important than ever.”
While this is very sad news for avid watchers of the channels, there is one silver lining!
Why is CBBC being closed down?
This change comes as audiences are continuing to opt for streaming rather than traditional, scheduled TV content. The BBC has seen less engagement with the channel, due to platforms like Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime offering masses of content online, with no TV license requirement – all for a monthly subscription.
This is no doubt a blow for parents and children alike, as the channel has been an integral part of many people’s childhoods since its launch in 1985.
CBBC has been home to the likes of Tracy Beaker, Raven and the Teletubbies. It’s even had celebrities like Ed Sheeran, Harry Styles and the Duchess of Cambridge appear on the channel for the popular Bedtime Stories’ segment. However, though the CBBC channel is being axed from our televisions, it is not happening immediately.
CBBC tweeted that it will remain as a ‘linear channel’ for a least three years and will then move to BBC iPlayer. So you will still be able to watch the likes of Blue Peter and Shaun the Sheep for free online but the channel will soon disappear from our TV guides.
Understandably this change is heartbreaking for regular viewers and those who grew up with CBBC, with many taking to social media to share their disappointment. Others pointed out that the shake-up would mean children from less fortunate households may miss out on being able to watch TV.
One fan tweeted, “CBBC closing is heartbreaking, not even for nostalgia reasons but growing up CBBC was literally the only children’s TV channel I had. Not everyone can afford Sky, Disney Plus and Netflix just for their kids to watch something, give them an option.”
While another added, “This is going to be detrimental to children from working-class families who can’t afford streaming services or sky packages, I grew up with CBBC as one of my only source of kids shows.”
“A real shame to be honest, CBBC was my childhood,” one more wrote.