16-34 targeted BBC Three is to return as a broadcast channel in January 2022
The BBC notes that it is backtracking on making the channel an online-only service after identifying – through research – a significant group of younger viewers who maintain a strong linear TV habit.
Highlighting recent hits such as Killing Eve, Fleabag and Normal People, the corporation said it was keen to bring them to a wider audience by utilising a broadcast channel as well as iPlayer.
The returning BBC Three will increase the diversity and creativity of the Beeb’s output, and at least two thirds of its programme spend will be outside of London and across the UK.
“BBC Three has a strong heritage in breaking and supporting new British talent and this will create a bigger platform to launch and celebrate them. A linear BBC Three channel will do more for diverse, underserved audiences across the UK. These include minority ethnic backgrounds, lower socio-economic groups, often in the north of England, and often with less access to digital on-demand services.” – BBC Press Office
CBBC will revert to closing at 7pm with BBC Three occupying a place on air between 7pm and 4am each day, however pre-watershed content (suitable for 13+) on BBC Three will offset the hours CBBC is losing.
BBC Three launched in 2003 – the successor of BBC Choice – and was moved online in February 2016, it is expected to start rebroadcasting in January 2022 subject to Ofcom approval.
“The BBC needs to back success and make sure its programmes reach as many young people as possible wherever they live in the UK. So regardless of the debates about the past, we want to give BBC Three its own broadcast channel again. It has exciting, groundbreaking content that deserves the widest possible audience and using BBC iPlayer alongside a broadcast channel will deliver the most value.” – Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer, BBC