The BBC has announced it is bringing back BBC Three as a linear channel from next January.
The corporation said it intends to adapt CBBC’s operating hours, with the new version of BBC Three set to broadcast from 7pm to 4am each day. It will be targeted at audiences aged 16-34.
The BBC added it does not intend to take any further traditional TV channel capacity for its services, but reallocate distribution capacity from existing services within the current space.
BBC Three launched in 2003 and moved online in February 2016, it is expected to start rebroadcasting in January 2022 subject to Ofcom approval.
A linear BBC Three channel will do more for diverse, underserved audiences across the UK, said the BBC, including minority ethnic backgrounds, lower socio-economic groups, often in the north of England, and often with less access to digital on-demand services.
The return of BBC Three as a broadcast channel is subject to regulatory approval. The BBC intends to launch a Public Interest Test (PIT) process later this week with the publication of a public consultation document on Friday 5th March.