BBC Should Consider More Kids Content, Review Finds

Rory Lindsay/BBC
"Horrible Histories"

The U.K. public broadcaster's governing body urges "more concerted action" by its TV, radio and online services beyond two kids networks to target children "as an audience for mainstream output."

LONDON – The BBC should consider more children’s programming across its various services after it axed dedicated kids blocks on TV networks BBC One and BBC Two last year, the U.K. public broadcaster’s governing body found in a review published Tuesday.

The BBC Trust’s analysis focused on the BBC’s children’s networks CBBC and CBeebies and beyond. It found that viewers described the available kids content as "much loved."

"We would like to see more concerted action taken by other BBC TV, radio and online services to consider children as an audience for mainstream output and to continue to seek opportunities to include relevant BBC children’s output as part of their offer," the BBC Trust report said.

It mentioned that such shows as Horrible Histories have been successful in family time slots on BBC One and also lauded BBC Three for airing CBBC supernatural drama Wolfblood.

The BBC Trust also said the broadcaster must do a better job promoting its kids content, especially to those who were used to seeing it in dedicated blocks.

"We heard an overwhelming amount of praise for the BBC’s children’s services, both from their young audiences and from adults, and it’s clear that CBeebies and CBBC have earned their place at the heart of many families’ viewing habits," said BBC trustee Alison Hastings. "The challenge for the BBC is to keep pace with change and make sure it’s providing programs, information, apps and other content when and where children want and expect it."

The BBC Trust also found a disconnect between CBeebies and CBBC, saying that the latter was still "struggling" to reach the viewers moving on from the former, which caters to preschoolers.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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