BBC Three to move online

BBC Three to move online

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Damian Kavanagh speaks to the RTS about BBC Three's move online
Damian Kavanagh

The BBC Trust has approved plans for the youth-focused brand to close its linear channel

The BBC Trust has today approved plans to move BBC Three online.

In a blog post, BBC Three controller Damian Kavanagh said the channel was adapting to meet the needs of young people.

Kavanagh promised the move would offer wider opportunities for talent, who would have space to experiment away from the constraints of linear television.

He was keen to emphasise that the channel was not closing, with 20% of the BBC Three budget being spent on new form content such as short form video and picture-led stories, while the remainder will be spent on long form television such as Josh and Life and Death Row, adding that “all our shows will be on BBC One or BBC Two so you can watch on traditional TV, if you want.”

The decision, which follows an 11-month public value consultation by the BBC Trust, has been a controversial one, with the managing directors of Hat Trick Productions and Avalon Entertainment, Jimmy Mulville and Jon Thoday, previously launching a campaign to keep the channel on linear television.

Plans to convert BBC Three’s slot in the EPG to a BBC One+1 channel were rejected by the Trust, though it approved plans to extend the CBBC channel’s broadcasting time by two hours, until 9pm.

Speaking at an RTS Futures event earlier this year, Kavanagh told the audience “if we stand still and we don’t innovate and we don’t challenge our audiences, I think we’re in trouble.”

BBC Three’s move online is expected to save the corporation £30 million a year. The linear channel will close in March 2016.

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