BBC Three facing the axe as an on-air TV station

Director general expected to announce plans to scrap youth-orientated channel

The future is uncertain for digital channel BBC Three with the corporation reportedly considering making the station an online-only channel.

BBC Three is the broadcaster’s youth-focused station and is formerly home to comedies including The Mighty Boosh (pictured). BBC News reports that the station will be axed as an on-air station with programmes such as Bad Education and Don’t Tell The Bride available to viewers online. BBC director general Tony Hall is expected to confirm the plans in a speech tomorrow (March 6).

The move to make BBC Three a solely online channel is being considered as part of a drive to make £100m savings and follows a speech given by Hall at the Oxford Media Convention last week in which he said that “tough choices” would have to be made

Speculation began mounting over the future of the two channels as Hall said he didn’t want to resort to “salami slicing” – cutting broadly over the whole corporation, reports Den Of Geek.

In response to the speculation, a spokesperson told the BBC: “Tony Hall set out some of the very real challenges the BBC faces at his speech in Oxford. He made clear that we will face tough choices about our budgets, and while nothing is off the table, no decisions have been made.”

In 2013/14, the budget for BBC Three is £85 million, while BBC Four’s is £49 million. Writing on Twitter, comedian Jack Whitehall came out in support of BBC Three, posting: “I really hope reports that the BBC may kill BBC3 are just rumours. Their support of new comedy in particular is vital.”