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BBC Three's TV return facing Ofcom delay

BBC Three's TV return facing Ofcom delay
Ofcom says that a full competition impact assessment will be required over the proposals to relaunch BBC Three as a linear TV channel.

Ofcom has announced a new consultation into the BBC's proposals to relaunch BBC Three as a linear TV channel.

The youth-targeted service closed down in February 2016 and moved to an online-only proposition as part of iPlayer, but huge success with shows such as Normal People and RuPaul's Drag Race UK has seen the corporation reverse tack and decide to restore it as a TV channel.

Under those plans, the channel will be back on air by January 2022 with a boosted annual budget of £72.5 million but first the move needs the blessing of TV regulator Ofcom.

Ofcom launched a provisional consultation earlier this year and based on the initial feedback, the regulator has now decided to undertake a full-scale competition impact assessment, which could take up to six months.

Among those raising concerns about the relaunch was Sky, who argued that the new BBC Three channel would both take away audiences from commercial channels and potentially push other channels down the EPG.

Should Ofcom take the full six months to make a final determination about whether the plan can go ahead, then the relaunch faces being pushed back from January to later in 2022.

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Thursday's key events

· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

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