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BBC Three goes off-air on March 1, 2016

The scrapping of BBC Three has been in the works for a while, but there’s now an official shuttering date.

According to new proposals released by the BBC, we now know that the BBC Three TV channel will be closed down on March 1 next year.

The original plan was to switch BBC Three to an online-only service this October, but that was delayed back in April.

Then in June, the BBC Trust called for a “more carefully managed transition”, so the BBC has now given a definitive 2016 date.

Moving BBC Three online will allow us to react to significant changes in technology and audience behaviour and reinvent public service broadcasting for younger audiences,” explains the BBC. “Moreover, the closure of BBC Three releases funding for investment in drama on BBC One.”

The BBC Three takedown has been split into three distinct phases.

Phase 1 runs from summer until October, and will see the BBC release “short and new forms of content” online.

Phase 2 falls between October 2015 and January 2016, which is when the “linear channel” closes.

This phase will see audiences pushed towards BBC Three online, and directing viewers to BBC Three repeats on BBC One and BBC Two.

The third and final phase will see BBC Three converted into a “transitional channel” followed by the full launch of BBC Three Online.

One suggestion for this “transitional channel” is that it will run 12 hours of “archive programming” each week during nighttime.

Then, as of March 1, BBC Three will only exist as an online service.

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But how will an online-only BBC Three look? The broadcaster wants to focus on younger audiences,

“The new BBC Three will be more than just an online version of its linear predecessor or a handful of long form programmes within a BBC Three branded space in BBC iPlayer,” says the BBC.

It adds: “Our ambition is that the new BBC Three will reach a wide range of 16-34 year olds in the UK each week with content that enriches, stimulates and informs them.”

Will you be sad to see BBC Three disappear from your TV screens, or are you just as happy having it available on iPlayer? Let us know in the comments.

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