BBC governors today made a robust defence of their digital channels after the services were strongly criticised in a British government commissioned report.
BBC4 and BBC3 came under fire in the independent study published in October for showing programmes which attracted few viewers.
Professor Patrick Barwise, the report’s author, also said they were both providing relatively low value for money.
But the governors said today they agreed with the criticism but disagreed with the academic’s view that the services should become more “mainstream” to attract viewers and become more cost effect.
“Instead, the governors have asked management to focus on improving value and increasing audiences while maintaining distinctiveness, risk-taking and innovation, all attributes which have contributed to the success of the channels to date and which Professor Barwise supports,” said the board in a statement.
BBC3, which is aimed at younger viewers, was launched in 2003, and BBC4, which mostly broadcasts art, current affairs and documentaries, in 2002 along with children’s services Cbeebies and CBBC.