BBC Three’s move online delayed until 2016

The corporation originally wanted to make BBC Three an online-only channel from autumn 2015

The BBC has postponed its plan to move BBC Three online until 2016.

The BBC announced in March 2014 that it was planning to make BBC Three an online-only channel from autumn 2015. From this point, the service will be available solely on iPlayer. However, the move has now been delayed while the corporation waits for its governing body, the BBC Trust, to approve its proposals for the channel.

“Once we have the Trust’s final decision, we’ll start doing more online and in social, building up to a move online -[but] only after Christmas,” BBC Three controller Danny Kavanagh told Broadcast magazine. “You simply can’t turn around something as groundbreaking as this overnight. We won’t be rushed. We will do what’s right for our fans, not to satisfy deadlines.”

Earlier this year (2015) the BBC Trust launched a full public consultation into BBC Three’s move online, allowing licence fee payers to have their say on the corporation’s proposals for the channel. The BBC Trust is expected to deliver its final verdict in June.

According to the corporation’s proposals for the channel, which is now being considered by the BBC Trust, the new online-only BBC Three will “allow the use of new forms and formats [and] different durations” in programming, with content to be based on what the BBC calls “two key editorial pillars”: Make Me Laugh and Make Me Think.

BBC Three was launched in 2003 with a target audience of viewers aged between 16 and 34. The channel’s biggest hits over the last decade include Gavin & Stacey, Little Britain, The Mighty Boosh, Torchwood and Being Human.