The BBC Trust has approved plans to put the TV channel BBC Three online from early next year. The move is in response to the young people targeted by the channel increasingly watching online video rather linear TV, as well as efforts to save costs at the British broadcaster.
The Trust’s decision comes with a number of conditions, following public consultations over the past year. This includes moving BBC Three’s long-form programmes to be shown still on the BBC One and Two channels after Three goes online. This is part of a broader requirement for One and Two also to offer programmes designed for younger audiences. The decision to take BBC Three online will be reviewed again in 18 months to assess the programming. The Trust also asked the BBC to make a proposal for the use of the spectrum vacated by BBC Three within three months and to give an update on negotiations on content rights before launch of the online channel.
In addition, the Trust approved plans to extend the hours of the children’s channel CBBC to 21.00 and to develop the iPlayer beyond a catch-up service, to include online-first and third-party content. However, it formally rejected the BBC’s proposals for a BBC One +1 channel, on the basis of limited public value.