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BBC to Premiere Scripted Comedies on Network's iPlayer

The U.K. public broadcaster will kick off the move with Jack Whitehall's "Bad Education" a week before it is due to air on regular television.

LONDON – BBC Three, the U.K. public broadcasting giant's hipster channel, will premiere all scripted comedy via its on-demand service, BBC iPlayer, from the end of August.

The rollout will mean BBC Three's scripted comedies will air on the iPlayer seven days before they are broadcast on TV. The new strategy kicks off with the second season of Jack Whitehall's Bad Education.

The network's move builds on BBC iPlayer's strategy to experiment and showcase more content on the platform in 2013.

In February, the BBC announced a separate trial that will see it premiere 40 hours of programming from other BBC channels on iPlayer -- including Peter Kay's Car Share. And, earlier this month, BBC Three launched its latest batch of comedy feeds, available to audiences exclusively via BBC iPlayer.

BBC Three controller Zai Bennett said: "BBC Three audiences are digitally savvy and view our programs in a number of different ways online and on the go."

BBC TV content online and IPTV head Victoria Jaye noted that 42 percent of viewers arrive at the BBC iPlayer "without anything specific in mind to watch, and over a third are happy to try new and different content."

Jaye said the move presents an opportunity to use BBC iPlayer "as a complementary platform to schedule broadcast programs in new ways, and innovate with content that showcases fresh U.K. talent."