Flagship BBC TV news programmes could be axed as audiences move online

The BBC’s News At Six and News At Ten could soon fade from television screens as the corporation’s coverage shifts to digital, its head of news has said.

Fran Unsworth told the Daily Telegraph that within a decade news will be “in the digital space” where it will be accessed by iPlayer.

Ms Unsworth said: “Ultimately, in 10 years’ time, we probably won’t be consuming linear bulletins. I might be wrong about that but I doubt it.

“There might be one (bulletin) a day, but video will just be in a different space… you know, iPlayer, your tablet, your iPhone.”

Fran Unsworth
Fran Unsworth

She added that one of the flagship programmes, whose audiences have doubled during the pandemic, might survive.

Figures released at the start of lockdown showed news bulletins and lifestyle programmes had seen a rise in ratings.

In the week ending March 29, five of the 10 most-watched broadcasts were editions of the BBC News At Six, with the bulletin on Monday March 23 attracting a TV audience of 8.3 million – nearly double the programme’s typical rating so far this year.

Ms Unsworth also told the Telegraph the 10pm programme had reported audiences of six million.