The BBC received 109,741 complaints about the extent of its output on the Duke of Edinburgh last Friday. Such was the volume of concern, the UK broadcaster created a dedicated complaints form, through which people could log their displeasure.
Responding to the complaints today, the BBC said the changes it made to schedules across television and radio were carefully considered and “reflect the role the BBC plays as the national broadcaster, during moments of national significance.”
In a statement, the BBC said: “The passing of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was a significant event which generated a lot of interest both nationally and internationally. We acknowledge some viewers were unhappy with the level of coverage given, and impact this had on the billed TV and Radio schedules.
“We do not make such changes without careful consideration and the decisions made reflect the role the BBC plays as the national broadcaster, during moments of national significance. We are grateful for all feedback, and we always listen to the response from our audiences.”
As detailed by Deadline, UK viewers voted with their remotes. The BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 all suffered audience declines between the hours of 7PM and 11PM, when the broadcasters lined up special coverage of the Duke of Edinburgh’s demise.
The BBC’s statement dropped just minutes after it revealed plans to cover Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday. The broadcaster will dedicate four hours of live coverage to the funeral, which begins at 3PM local time. Anchored by Huw Edwards, the BBC One broadcast runs from 12:30PM to 4:20PM.