Insights Ofcom approves relaunch of BBC Three as a broadcast television channel.


Earlier this year, the BBC submitted proposals to Ofcom to reinstate BBC Three as a traditional TV channel, offering news, current affairs, factual, drama, entertainment and comedy, targeting viewers aged 16-34 who do not typically watch TV online.

Ofcom says that it carefully assessed the BBC’s plans, alongside evidence and feedback gathered during its consultation, and found that the channel’s potential value to viewers ultimately outweighs the limited impact that Ofcom identified on rival broadcasters. Ofcom says that, to ensure the channel is distinctive, at least 75% of hours broadcast each year must be original programmes, commissioned by the BBC for UK viewers. Ofcom is also requiring the channel to deliver first-run UK content across a mix of genres, as well as weekday news programmes.

Ofcom has also made changes to its Code of Practice on Electronic Programme Guides to ensure that BBC Three appears within the first 24 slots of on-screen television guides.

Ofcom says that the re-launch of BBC Three is one part of how the BBC intends to deliver for all audiences, which is critical for its future sustainability. Ofcom has also published its fourth annual report on the BBC’s performance (see item below), which assesses, among other things, its progress in reaching underserved viewers and listeners. This includes younger people who typically spend less time with the BBC’s programmes. To read Ofcom’s news release in full, click here.