BBC Proposes Cuts In Online Service
January 25, 2011 at 4:18 AM (PT)
The BBC unveiled its proposal to drastically cut its online operations MONDAY, with the shutdown of half of its top-level domains and the introduction of automated content for most of its program websites and those of its digital radio stations on the agenda. Three-hundred-and-sixty jobs will be cut in the process, although some of the affected employees will be redeployed elsewhere in the company. The cuts aim to reduce the BBC ONLINE budget from today's 137 million pounds to 103 million by 2013-14.
The network plans to close half of its 400 top-level domains, 180 of which will close later this year and many of which are for shows that have been long off the air, and is looking to sell or otherwise dispose of the h2g2 ("THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY") site. In addition, the sites of Urban 1XTRA, Sports 5 LIVE SPORTS EXTRA, Triple A 6 MUSIC, and Comedy-Talk RADIO 7 will be automated, Sports and Entertainment content will be reduced, Talk BBC RADIO 5 LIVE's 606 site and the iPlayer message board will be closed, non-news features will disappear from local BBC sites, and the site's individual communities, forums, and message boards will be cut back in favor of integrating social media tools.
At the same time, the network, aiming to avoid being criticized for offering publicly-funded competition for commercial ventures, pledged not to launch its own social network or become an aggregator for other's online on-demand video. It will also not bid for online sports coverage rights or publish local listings, and will not offer online-only music sessions or track-by-track music streaming.