BBC Three to potentially return to TV four years after it went online

March 9, 2020

Youth-focused BBC Three channel could return to broadcast television in some form, four years after it became online-only to save money.

According to the Guardian, BBC insiders confirmed discussions had taken place on whether the brand should once again have a presence on traditional television. No final decision was made.

BBC Three was taken off air in March 2016. The corporation said the move would save tens of millions of pounds a year, helping it to reduce its spending in line with cuts imposed by the government after 2010.

A spokesperson said a Daily Mail report suggested that the rumours were “speculation”, but did not rule it out.

After 450 jobs were announced to be cut from the News division, the BBC is currently figuring out how to change it’s operations to save costs. 

Moving BBC Three back to screens would likely mean savings need to be made elsewhere at the BBC, with the arts and history channel BBC Four considered a potential candidate for cuts.

When BBC Three was moved online four years ago, much of the Corporation’s budget was reallocated to fund drama on BBC One.

BBC Three’s intended audience has flatlined, reaching 8% of 16- to 34-year-old viewers each week.