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BBC Three controller: channel not for sale

Damian KavanaghBBC Three controller Damian Kavanagh (pictured) has stressed that the network is “not for sale”, a day after Avalon and Hat Trick said they had approached the BBC Trust about buying the youth channel.

In a blog post to clarify the BBC’s position relating to the channel, which the BBC plans to take online only, Kavanagh said “BBC Three is not closing and BBC Three is not for sale”.

He said that the new BBC Three will continue to make comedy, drama and documentary programmes and will also make digital content and short form video for platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr. However, BBC Three will only make one drama a year, due to “a falling income and increased costs.”

“More young people watch BBC One than any other channel in the UK and they love shows like EastEnders, The Voice, Sherlock, Doctor Who. This is a big reason why we made the decision to move £30m from BBC Three to BBC One drama; to make sure we can develop these shows and make new shows we know young people will love,” said Kavanagh.

“All new BBC Three programmes would be on BBC One and BBC Two on Freeview, Sky, Virgin, and YouView as well as BBC iPlayer and a new home on bbc.co.uk. In reality new BBC Three programmes will be available to more people, and seen by a wider audience, than they are now.”

Popular BBC Three shows like Russell Howard’s Good News and Jack Whitehall’s Backchat have already moved to BBC Two, while Don’t Tell The Bride is moving to BBC One.