BBC Youth Network's Online-Only Move Delayed Until 2016
The BBC Three linear channel was originally scheduled to end later this year.
The BBC's plans to make youth channel BBC Three an online-only network will be delayed until 2016 as the U.K. public broadcaster awaits a final decision from the BBC Trust, its governing body.
Originally, the BBC move was scheduled for the fall. But an ongoing review by the Trust is expected to lead to a publication of its preliminary conclusions only around June, Broadcast magazine reported.
It quoted BBC Three controller Damian Kavanagh as saying: "Once we have the Trust’s final decision, we’ll start doing more online and in social, building up to a move [to] online-only after Christmas."
He explained: "You simply can’t turn around something as groundbreaking as this overnight. We won’t be rushed. We will do what’s right for our fans, not to satisfy deadlines."
Some independent producers have opposed the plans. Avalon head Jon Thoday and Hat Trick managing director Jimmy Mulville have offered to acquire the channel for $150 million and made other alternative proposals. They are expected to meet with BBC Trust chair Rona Fairhead.
BBC Three targets 16-to-34-year-olds. It has aired such shows as Family Guy, which is moving to BBC Two, Being Human, Gavin & Stacey and Little Britain.