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BBC Three to use kids' spare capacity for relaunch?

BBC Three to use kids' spare capacity for relaunch?
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The BBC will reportedly make use of spare capacity on its two kids' channels in order to relaunch BBC Three as a linear TV channel.

BBC Three will reportedly relaunch as a linear channel using spare capacity from its two children's channels.

Earlier this year it emerged that the corporation was considering restoring BBC Three as a traditional TV station following its huge success as a digital-only offering over the last five years.

New BBC director-general Tim Davie recently announced that any new BBC services would have to make use of existing capacity, and according to Broadcast, BBC Three's relaunch will make use of spare space from its kids' channel CBeebies.

CBeebies currently shares space with BBC Four, which begins at 7pm each night and runs through until the early hours, while sister channel CBBC used to close at 7pm but extended its closedown to 9pm following the demise of BBC Three as a linear channel.

The report suggests a multitude of possibilities - either that BBC Four will move to timeshare with CBBC and begin at the later time of 9pm, with BBC Three starting at 7pm; that BBC Three will actually timeshare with CBBC and begin at 9pm; or that CBBC's hours will be scaled back to either 7pm or 8pm to timeshare with one of BBC Three or BBC Four.

A further possibility could see the BBC make inventive use of its linear channel space reserved on Sky and Freeview for a red button stream in order to maximise the broadcast hours for all of its main channels.

The BBC has yet to formally confirm the restoration of BBC Three as a linear service but an announcement is thought to be imminent.

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