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BBC Trust to launch BBC Three consultation

The BBC Trust is due to launch a public consultation next month about plans to close youth-skewing network BBC Three as a broadcast channel, turning it into an online-only offering.

The BBC’s governing body said it has now received detailed of proposals from the BBC Executive about its plans to shut down the linear BBC Three channel.

Alongside this, the BBC has also proposed launching a BBC One+1 channel, extending the hours of children’s channel CBBC and “enhancing” the BBC iPlayer – matters that were discussed by the Trust Services Committee on December 3.

“The committee have confirmed that these proposals represent a significant change to the UK public services. In its regulatory role as set out in the [BBC Charter] Agreement, the Trust is therefore required to conduct a public value test, including a public consultation, so licence fee payers, audience groups and industry stakeholders have an opportunity to have their say on the proposals,” said the Trust in a statement.

The pubic consultation is due to begin in January, when the Trust will publish the proposals for the new BBC Three service as well as a timeline for the process of taking it online-only.

A Public Value Assessment to be conducted by the Trust, while UK broadcast regulator Ofcom will carry out a Market Impact Assessment.
The BBC first announced plans to close BBC Three as a cost-saving plan ahead of having its charter renewed in 2017 back in March.