BBC Three, the digital platform that has been home to “Fleabag” and “Normal People”, is returning as a broadcast channel.
The British media regulator Ofcom on Thursday officially approved the channel and made it clear that it was on the basis that at least 75% of the hours broadcast each year will be original programs commissioned by the BBC for British viewers.
The company officially confirmed a February launch for BBC Three, which will be available on Freeview, Sky, Virgin and Freesat with EPGs to be confirmed at a later date.
Commenting on the decision, Fiona Campbell, controller of BBC Three, said: “This is a great moment, with the new channel allowing young audiences to discover more content on the BBC. We will work hand in hand with iPlayer to deliver a broad offering that is representative of the whole of the UK and we will continue to support new talent and bold ideas.This approach will bring the audience a distinctive mix of programs that are there to entertain, inspire and challenge thinking, in a crucial and exciting time to be young in the UK. “
Elsewhere, the BBC and the Pact have agreed on a new commercial terms for TV productions made by independent producers – a crucial development in the rights negotiations between BBC Three and program providers who once made shows for a digital platform and now have to produce for a broadcast channel.
Keywords are below:
- Under the agreement, for BBC Three commissions, the BBC will have a two-year window on its catch-up platform iPlayer as well as unlimited broadcasts on the BBC Three broadcast channel during the first 18 months.
- The BBC also has a further 18 transmission days on BBC Three for the remaining 3.5 years of license included in the initial program payment to independent producers. For transmissions on other BBC channels, reruns may be purchased separately under existing terms.
- For iPlayer use beyond the two years, a 1% non-exclusivity and 2% exclusivity fee is required for each 12-month extension, and each time the BBC acquires an additional iPlayer window, the original license period is reduced by six months ( but can be extended).
The BBC said the new deal would provide “more value to the public, ensure a clear framework for producers and give the BBC the flexibility to have programs available to watch on both BBC Three and iPlayer.”
The BBC’s Commercial, Rights and Business Director Jo Korn said: “This new deal is good news for both the BBC and independent producers and we are really pleased to have completed this well in advance of the launch. It gives the channel the flexibility to ensure that its programs deliver real value to the audience, no matter how they want to see the content, as well as recognition of success for producers.
Pact Director of Business Max Rumney added: “Our members are delighted to see the return of the linear channel and the opportunities this will give producers to showcase the brilliant creativity of the UK independent manufacturing sector. It is a great example of, that the Pact and the BBC work together to deliver a positive outcome for all. “