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BBC Trust confirms BBC Three online shift as its young audience is less interested in ‘linear TV’

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By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

November 26, 2015 | 2 min read

BBC Three content will be shifted online (or to BBC One and Two) following the broadcaster arguing that’s the channel’s young audience is more likely to view its shortform offering online.

The BBC Trust today (Thursday 26 November) confirmed the launch of BBC Three online, stressing that the move exhibited “clear public value” as it looks to make savings across its entire operation with a reduction of its sports budget and the phasing out of the Red Button.

BBC trustee Suzanna Taverne, chair of the Trust’s Services Committee, said: "The decision to close a TV channel is a difficult one, and one we have not taken lightly. The BBC must adapt with its audiences; the evidence is very clear that younger audiences are watching more online and less linear TV.

“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."

Damian Kavanagh, BBC Three controller, added: "Today is just the beginning for BBC Three and our plans to transform our offer for young people. We have lots of new content coming in 2016 and exciting new ways of delivering it in development. We will now set about launching a digital first BBC Three in early 2016.”

The Trust has extended the hours of CBBC to 9pm (likely to the relief of some parents) and announced plans to develop the iPlayer to include first and third party content.

Proposals for a BBC One +1 channel were however rejected.

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