Today, the 11th of March 2010 is the 8th birthday of the BBC digital radio station, 6 Music. In a few days we will hear if the plans to ax the station will go ahead and I thought I'd share my thoughts with you.
I have always been a supporter of the BBC and the license fee. It is still true that the BBC is the envy of the world for its broadcasting. However if this decision goes ahead, the one thing that the beeb stands for; ie originality will die.
The point of the BBC is to provide content that is unmatched by the commercial sector.
If you analyze many of the BBC's stations, this clearly is not the case. Radio 1's playlist is obviously found everywhere in commercial radio. Ditto Radio 2 and 3. When it comes to TV, the BBC's most recent channel, BBC3's content can be found everywhere from E4 to Dave & Bravo. Indeed, BBC3 is just competion for the aforementioned channels.
6 Music on the other hand along with radio 4 is totally unique. There is content that you will not hear anywhere else in the commercial sector. There is material that you will not hear anywhere else in the whole world, let alone the UK! This is not an exaggeration. Last week I was listening to 1960's Brazillian psychedilia!
Not that I'm into that … but that's not the point. Where else in the world could I ever hope to hear a retrospective on 60's Brazillian psychedelia? … Nowhere except BBC 6 Music.
It is a fact that 6 Music is the only BBC station which listening figures have consistently increased every year since its start, 8 years ago.
It is also a fact that if 6 Music were on FM and not DAB, its audience would be much larger than radio 3, 5 Live and any of the regional county radio stations, all of who enjoy FM status.
It seems to me that if 6 Music is to go we will lose the very heart and soul of the BBC with it. The bedrock of originality and excellence that it has always stood on will crumble and we will be left thinking that if they are ready to do this, who will be next?