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The BBC's role in the changing production ecology of preschool television in Britain

Publication Date
  • Media
  • Arts And Design
  • School Of
  • Ecology


CBeebies, the BBC’s brand for young children, has become a successful public service undertaking, lauded by parents and policy makers alike. Nevertheless, it operates in a complex and highly competitive "ecology," where recent funding crises in commercial television have left CBeebies as the main commissioner of U.K.–originated content. Having outlined the broader industry context of CBeebies, this article examines changes in its organization, target audience, scheduling and commissioning practices, and relationship with the BBC’s commercial subsidiary, BBC Worldwide, to explain how wider commercial, cultural, and technological forces have impacted the Corporation’s strategies for preschool content. It suggests that growing pressures to locate funding for "fewer, bigger, better" programs may have an adverse impact on the range of content and sources of supply.

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