BBC Three is returning as a broadcast TV channel six years after it was rebranded as an online-only station
The popular platform – which spawned global hits like Fleabag, This Country, People Just Do Notithing, Normal People and Killing Eve – will get its own terrestrial channel once again from January 2022.
Many of those shows ended up on BBC One after developing cult followings with online viewers on BBC Three, so it’s possible the returning channel will be able to hold onto its best shows moving forward.
The channel will focus on younger audiences moving forward and will receive a 100% budget increase over the next couple of years. It’s also reward for the success of the production companies who’ve delivered a string of great shows for viewers since the move to the iPlayer.
The new channel will target the 16-34 age groups and will take over from children’s channel CBBC at 7pm every day. Programming will then run until 4am.
“The BBC needs to back success and make sure its programmes reach as many young people as possible wherever they live in the UK,” said the BBC’s chief content officer, Charlotte Moore. “So regardless of the debates about the past, we want to give BBC Three its own broadcast channel again.”
The BBC initially moved the channel to the online realm as a cost cutting measure back in 2016, amid budget cuts. In a statement, The BBC added: “Having committed to double the investment on BBC Three commissions over the next two years, we want to showcase that content to a wider audience. Using both a broadcast channel and BBC iPlayer in tandem, will help to grow our offer and deliver more value to younger audiences.”
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