Observation Dome

BBC Cult site closes 15th July

Damn, I was hoping they'd forgotten about that.

It sucks, it really does. As much as anything else, it seems an odd statement of intent from the BBC. The Who site is safe, obviously; but at a time when we were all hoping that the BBC were waking up to the fact that there's an audience there who wants some SF, they close the Cult site. Despite it coming only second to News in the BBC's Online Audience survey.

It's not just SF, though. The BBC is supposed to provide things that commercial providers don't. Well, whilst there are plenty of SF magazines, there aren't nearly as many for cult TV in general; in fact, I can only think of one, which is TV Zone. And that's mainly SF these days. On the website front, there may be ones I don't know about, but I can't see many dealing with cult TV in general; they're mostly fansites about specific shows, which is a completely different thing.

The worst thing is the following, though: "We're trying to find alternative bbc.co.uk homes for some sites, but much of the content will be removed from the servers, and that which remains will not be maintained." Why the fuck remove a lot of the content? WHY? What harm does it do to leave it there, unmaintained?

This is all very sad. And very silly. I thought the BBC was supposed to be for everyone? Well, by closing this down, they've effectively said that the BBC isn't for me. It's slightly insulting, really.


It's a stupid decision really, especially to take the content down - it's not as if the BBC is short on disk space and bandwidth.

What I don't understand is this:

"We'd like to thank all our users (700,000 of you last month!), and to everyone who expressed an opinion of us in the BBC's Online Audience survey (we nearly came top - beaten only by those pesky News people)."

If they came second only to the news in a survey of online audiences why on earth close the site? Even more silly given that they've just started new Hitchhikers stuff and the huge interest generated by Doctor Who (I know that site is safe, but I imagine people coming to look at that might be interested in other cult programmes too).

I think Dwarf is safe though, as they class it as comedy rather than cult.

By Paul on 26-06-05 @ 13:02

Yes, the BBC's massive Red Dwarf website:

By Mr Flibble on 26-06-05 @ 13:08

Maybe someone at the BBC misread the title 'cult' and thought 'shit! we better close that before we get into trouble!!'

I think it's probably because of Who that this has happened. Who isn't 'cult' anymore thanks to Russell T Davies bringing it back to the masses, and so they might think they can dispense with all the other shows and concentrate on the Doctor (just watched Caves of Androzani again and still laughing at the idea that the Doctor has to get milk from a dormant Queen bat (i.e. a crappy BBC rubber prop) to cure Peri. Don't get me wrong, I think the episode is good, but I think that's piss-funny.). Anyway, it's a shame because you'd think the BBC would be able to stop maintaining the cult section but still keep all the info on the shows. They really are a bunch of cults at times.

By performingmonkeyass on 26-06-05 @ 20:41

Note the link at the bottom of the Cult article...

By John Hoare on 26-06-05 @ 23:54

I read somewhere ages and ages ago that the BBC had been criticised for having too much available online - news, weather, tv listings, etc etc. Apparently it was becoming too powerful or something, and was a threat to all those oh-so popular news, weather, and tv listings etc etc sites that we all don't know and don't use. So it was told to reduce their content - I'm sure I heard that the tv listings had to go.

Not sure if this is to do with that, but it could be. Seems bloody stupid to me.

By Pip on 01-07-05 @ 18:34

There's a lot of bullshit about how the BBC is unfair in a commercial marketplace. It used to be a minority of people who thought that, and wanted to get rid of the licence fee - the way things are going, I wouldn't be surprised if it was got rid of in 20 years. It sucks.

As much as anything else, it's *blatantly* untrue that the BBC causes problems in the commercial marketplace. ITV did *fantastically* in the 70s, because it was coming up with loads of great stuff that everyone wanted to watch. *That's* the secret to succeeding - make good stuff. Whining on about unfair competition is a huge amount of bollocks.

By John Hoare on 01-07-05 @ 21:09

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