BBC considers linear return for BBC Three



The BBC could reinstate BBC Three as a regular linear channel, with the broadcaster actively looking at options.

It's the main headline-grabbing line from an early preview of the outline of the BBC's Annual Plan, which is published in full on Wednesday.

It follows a number of successes for BBC Three programmes in recent years, including Fleabag, Normal People and Killing Eve, the latter two currently benefiting from prime-time slots on BBC One. But the rest of BBC Three's output hasn't faired as well, with Ofcom warning the BBC last year that it was losing youth audiences.

While a final decision hasn't yet been made, the budget for BBC Three will be doubled to £80million.

The BBC has also said it has no current plans to close BBC Four, but any increase in BBC Three's budget would result in cuts elsewhere.

Jono Read, who ran the original campaign to save BBC Three, said it was a "bittersweet victory but could have been avoided five years ago."