Insights Ofcom consults on its provisional decision to allow BBC to relaunch BBC Three as broadcast televisional channel and on proposed changes to the EPG Code of Practice


Ofcom is seeking views on its provisional decision to allow the BBC to relaunch BBC Three as a broadcast television channel.

Ofcom reminds readers that its job, as required by the Charter and Agreement, is to ensure that any change the BBC wishes to make to its publicly funded TV, radio and online services does not give it an unfair advantage over rival broadcasters. To do this, Ofcom needs to judge whether the public value of a proposed change justifies any adverse effects on fair and effective competition.

Having conducted a detailed analysis of the BBC’s proposal, Ofcom has provisionally concluded that the public value of BBC Three returning as a broadcast channel justifies the limited adverse market impact. Ofcom has provisionally found that the channel would increase the availability and reach of BBC Three to people who currently do not access it, particularly viewers from lower income households and those living outside of London and the South-East.

In light of the provisional decision, Ofcom is also consulting on proposed changes to its Electronic Programme Guide Code of Practice. Subject to its final competition assessment decision on BBC Three, these changes would ensure the channel appears within the first 24 slots of on-screen programme guides.

Both consultations run until 14 October 2021, and Ofcom expects to publish its final decisions before the end of 2021. To access the BBC Three consultation, click here. To access the EPG consultation, click here.