Monday marked BBC Three's last day as a traditional linear TV channel
BBC Three has moved online today (February 16) following its final night as a traditional linear TV channel.
The new, online-only BBC Three will continue to offer original programming aimed at viewers aged between 16 and 34 through iPlayer and its new mobile platform, The Daily Drop.
To mark the channel’s final night on air, James Corden recorded a special tribute message in which he introduced an episode of Gavin & Stacey, the sitcom he co-created with Ruth Jones which launched on BBC Three in 2007.
“BBC Three has been a huge part of my life and career. It took a chance on me and Ruth Jones and this little show that we wrote,” Corden said from the set of The Late Late Show in Los Angeles. “For that chance, I and so many other writers and directors will always be grateful.”
“I wish BBC Three all the best of luck with your big move online. I can’t wait to see what you’ll be showing in the future,” Corden added. Watch his video message below.
It was announced in November that BBC Three was to be axed as a traditional “linear” TV channel after the BBC Trust formally approved proposals to move the channel online.
BBC Trustee Suzanna Taverne said in a statement that the decision had been “a difficult one”, but insisted: “The BBC must adapt with its audiences; the evidence is very clear that younger audiences are watching more online and less linear TV.”
In March 2014 the BBC’s director-general Tony Hall announced plans to move the youth-oriented channel online in a bid to cut costs. In early 2015, the BBC Trust launched a full public consultation into the move, allowing licence fee payers to have their say on the corporation’s proposals for the channel.
Explaining the Trust’s reasons for its final decision, Taverne said: “The plans enable the BBC to deliver more distinctive content online, while bearing down on costs; to address concerns about the impact of moving BBC Three online, we have set new requirements for programmes for younger audiences on BBC One and Two.”
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.