Statement: Ofcom's review of proposed BBC Three television channel

Published: 16 September 2021
Consultation closes: 14 October 2021
Status: Closed (statement published)

Statement published 25 November 2021

The BBC has proposed to launch a BBC Three broadcast channel. It has consulted and subsequently carried out a public interest test on its plans.

As required by the BBC Charter and Agreement, we have carried out a competition assessment. We have reviewed how the BBC has developed its proposals and its assessment of their public value, as well as assessed the impact of the BBC’s proposals on competition. We consulted on our provisional determination that the BBC could go ahead with its plans, and have taken account of feedback from stakeholders in response.

This statement explains our final determination that the BBC may proceed with its proposal. We have also set conditions in the Operating Licence to secure the contribution of the BBC Three broadcast channel to the delivery of the BBC’s Mission and Public Purposes.

As required by the BBC Charter and Agreement, we are considering the BBC’s proposals through a BBC competition assessment (BCA).

We have published our provisional conclusions that the BBC should be permitted to re-launch BBC Three as a broadcast television channel. We are now seeking views from interested or affected organisations and individuals on our provisional conclusions.

We have completed our initial assessment of the BBC's proposal to launch BBC Three as a television channel in January 2022.

In order to protect fair and effective competition, Ofcom must examine any significant changes which the BBC wishes to make to its TV, radio and online public services. The BBC published a proposal to launch BBC Three as a television channel in January 2022. It has undertaken a public interest test, and the BBC Board has concluded that the proposal passes the public interest test.

On 8 July 2021 we published an ‘invitation to comment’ as the start of our assessment of the BBC’s proposal. We have now written to the BBC to set out the conclusion of our initial assessment and the next steps we will take.

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