UK's BBC Axes More Websites to Divert Funds

21 December 2004

UK state-funded broadcaster, the BBC, is continuing its seismic restructure with the shutdown of some of its most popular websites.

The corporation, which recently announced it will axe around 3,000 jobs and move some of its key units out of London, hopes to save around £6 million ($11m, €8m) by closing the sites. The money will be spent on fulfilling its public service remit such as making archived shows available on the internet.

The moves come as the BBC prepares for the renewal of its Royal Charter (the structure under which it operates) in 2007.

Says Ashley Highfield, director of new media and technology: "In order to free up the required funding we must start to behave more like television and radio, decommissioning sites or cutting back on funding, or even archiving them as circumstances change."

Among the sites destined for the axe is one on US sports, another on local history and another devoted to cult US TV shows such as Buffy and The Simpsons.

BBC Online closed a number of sites earlier in the year following a government-commissioned review of services. Adds Highfield: "These changes build on the first steps we took in July to close those websites which we felt did not offer sufficient distinctive public value for the investment required."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff