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BBC Three to return as TV channel in January 2022

BBC Three to return as TV channel in January 2022
© BBC
The BBC confirms plans to restore BBC Three as a linear TV channel, six years after it was moved online.

The BBC has confirmed plans to restore BBC Three as a linear TV channel in January 2022.

The youth-skewing service was shifted to an online-only proposition in February 2016 as part of cost-cutting measures, but late last year it emerged that the corporation was considering reinstating its broadcast.

The news comes after a string of successes for BBC Three over the last 12 months, with shows such as Normal People, RuPaul's Drag Race UK and Fleabag having garnered huge audiences through iPlayer.

Charlotte Moore, the BBC's chief content officer, said: "BBC Three is a BBC success story, backing creativity, new talent and brave ideas has resulted in hit after hit, from Fleabag and Man Like Mobeen, RuPaul's Drag Race UK and Jesy Nelson's Odd One Out, to Normal People and This Country.

"The BBC needs to back success and make sure its programmes reach as many young people as possible wherever they live in the UK. So regardless of the debates about the past, we want to give BBC Three its own broadcast channel again.

"It has exciting, groundbreaking content that deserves the widest possible audience and using BBC iPlayer alongside a broadcast channel will deliver the most value."

The channel will broadcast 7pm and 4am using the overnight capacity on the CBBC Channel, which will scale back its closing time each day from 9pm to 7pm.

The BBC has also promised that at least two thirds of BBC Three's broadcast spend will be outside of London, in addition to a commitment to "do more for diverse, underserved audiences across the UK".

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