BBC Three is set to return in 2022, six years after the channel was dropped in the expectation that younger audiences would increasingly watch online.
The brand has continued to exist as an iPlayer strand but the move online has led to lower engagement with the BBC by some of the channel’s target audience.
Subject to approval by Ofcom, which has ordered BBC bosses to increase viewing by young people, the channel will return next January and broadcast from 7pm to 4am each day – the same as the hours of the channel when it closed in 2016.
To accommodate the move, CBBC’s broadcast hours will revert to closing at 7pm – as was the case before 2016 – with BBC Three showing content suitable for 13+ pre-watershed.
Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer said: “The BBC needs to back success and make sure its programmes reach as many young people as possible wherever they live in the UK.
“So regardless of the debates about the past, we want to give BBC Three its own broadcast channel again.
“It has exciting, groundbreaking content that deserves the widest possible audience and using BBC iPlayer alongside a broadcast channel will deliver the most value.”