RealTime IT News

Digital TV D-Day Dawns For BBC

The BBC Tuesday launched its new integrated online and TV channel, BBC Knowledge, hailing the event as "our digital TV D-day."

Having lost around £15 million (US$24 million) of licence fee revenue on its news network BBC World, and having spent £20 million (US$32 million) on the late-night News 24, the BBC is now putting a further £10 million (US$16 million) into the new digital channel.

Designed to appeal to the younger, "wired" generation, BBC Knowledge will be funded -- if the BBC gets its way -- from a special digital licence fee paid by all users of digital television.

An original feature of the BBC's new digital channel is the use of the Internet as an integral part of the shows. This, will allow programme makers to develop new interactive techniques that involve the audience and encourage greater participation, said the BBC.

The consensus among media critics is that the BBC is "trying to do the right thing." The end-of-term report may turn out to be: "Could try harder."

BBC Knowledge will normally transmit from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. weekdays and 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. weekends.