After some press speculation that CBeebies and CBBC may be moved online, the director general of the BBC has announced that there are no plans to take the popular children’s channels off the air.
Tony Hall stated: “We don’t have proposals to take CBeebies and CBBC, as channels, out of the environment. We’re talking about how we can make sure that the 20%, and growing, number of young people can use the good things the BBC can offer.”
The rumours were partly due to Tony Hall’s announcement of the creation of a children’s iPlayer, called iPlay, suggesting that funding cuts would mean the loss or reduction of some services.
A petition was launched to prevent the axing of the channels, which has currently been signed by just under 130,000 people.
Previously, Tony Hall described the BBC’s recent agreement to cover the £600m cost of providing free television licences for the over 75s as a “tough deal”, explaining that “some very difficult choices” must be made.
After hearing about the BBC’s annual report, Tony Hall also said that after buying into talent show The Voice, he would like the BBC to be responsible for its next big hit.
He told MPs: “My ambition is that the next time we have a big entertainment format on the BBC, it will be made in-house.”