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BBC Three proposal announced

BBC has unveiled the first details of its proposals to close BBC Three as a broadcast channel and reinvent it online.

The changes – which are subject to approval by the BBC Trust – will generate savings of £50m, which will be reinvested into BBC Three online, as well as strengthening BBC One.

The proposal would allow the use of new forms and formats, different durations, and more individualised and interactive content based on two key editorial pillars – Make Me Think and Make Me Laugh.

Children’s programs on CBBC would be extended by two hours per night as a result of the proposal, which also includes launching a catch-up channel, BBC One + 1, making programs more available to people who do not use BBC iPlayer or have access to broadband. This will help mitigate any short-term loss in time spent among 16-34 year old audiences, as BBC One still generates the biggest reach among younger audiences.

BBC Director-General Tony Hall said: “With the licence fee frozen we’ve had to make difficult decisions – and none more so than our proposal to move BBC Three online. By searching out new ways to engage and entertain young audiences on their terms, the new BBC Three will be a great example of how we can reinvent the public service for the digital world – using their talent, appearing on the platforms and devices that they use and talking to them as equals and partners.”

Danny Cohen, BBC Director of Television, added: “I’m truly very excited about the plans we are developing, both in terms of what they will mean for the future of BBC Three and what we can learn to drive the whole of the BBC forward in a time of relentless digital and technological change. I don’t want us to sit back as a legacy company and watch as generational change bites away at our impact – I want us to be at the forefront of that change.”