BBC still considering BBC Three relaunch amid reports of a linear return

The BBC outlined in its annual plan earlier this year that it was considering the reintroduction of BBC Three as a linear channel.

This Country

The BBC has not yet decided whether BBC Three will return as a linear TV channel, RadioTimes.com understands, despite reports that the online platform will be reinstated.

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Earlier today, Broadcast reported that the BBC planned to bring BBC Three back as a linear channel after nearly five years exclusively online by airing its programming in slots occupied by CBeebies and CBBC after they close at 7pm and 9pm respectively.

The alleged plan would prevent the BBC from acquiring any new channels, which BBC Director-General Tim Davie ruled out earlier this month, saying: “If we want to launch a new offer, and we will consider our options, it would need to use the current space.”

RadioTimes.com understands that the broadcaster is still looking at whether BBC Three can be reinstated as a linear channel and that no decision has yet been made.

BBC Three launched in 2003 as a linear channel for innovative programming, targeted at an audience of 16-to-34-year-olds, but was converted into a BBC iPlayer channel in 2014 following budget cuts across the BBC.

In May of this year, the broadcaster announced in its annual plan that it was considering the reintroduction of BBC Three as a TV channel after commissions by the online platform, such as Fleabag and Normal People, contributed to BBC iPlayer recording its biggest viewing figures in history this year.

BBC Three established itself as the home of various popular shows, including British comedies Gavin & Stacey, This Country and People Just Do Nothing, and has recently seen success with a number of new reality series, with RuPaul’s Drag Race UK and Glow Up launching last year.

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Read more: Taking BBC Three back on-air would reward innovation that’s helped keep the BBC relevant

Check out what’s on BBC Three and other channels using our TV Guide.