16 September 2021

Give us your views on the future of BBC Three

Ofcom is seeking your views on our provisional decision to allow the BBC to relaunch BBC Three as a broadcast TV channel.

As the communications regulator, part of Ofcom’s role is to make sure any changes the BBC makes to its publicly-funded TV, radio and online services don’t give it an unfair advantage over other broadcasters. To do this, we need to judge whether the public value of a proposed change justifies any negative market impact it might have.

BBC has proposed to relaunch BBC as a broadcast channel. We have analysed this proposal in detail and have provisionally concluded that the public value of BBC Three’s return as a broadcast channel justifies the limited adverse market impact that might arise from it.

We have also provisionally found that the relaunch of BBC Three as a broadcast channel would increase its availability and reach to people who don’t currently have access to it. These include people from lower income households and those living outside of London and the south east.

Following our provisional decision, we are also consulting on proposed changes to our Electronic Programme Guide Code of Practice.

Depending on our final decision on BBC Three, these changes would ensure the channel appears within the first 24 slots of on-screen programme guides.

Both consultations run until 14 October 2021, and we expect to publish our final decisions before the end of this year.

Our provisional decision is to allow the BBC to go ahead with the proposed relaunch of BBC Three. We expect to publish a final conclusion by December. If we confirm our provisional decision, we understand that the BBC wishes to launch the new service early in the new year.

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