BBC Three will return to our screens as a broadcast channel on February 1 after its surging digital popularity.
In 2016, the channel was pulled off air in a bid to attract younger audiences. Since then, it has had mega hits, including RuPaul’s Drag Race UK and Normal People.
BBC Three will broadcast from 7pm every night, and will be available to watch on Freeview, Sky, Virgin and Freesat, as well as on BBC iPlayer.
The channel will come back with a bang, launching with RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Versus The World, and live football coverage, including the semi-finals and the final of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Other new releases coming to BBC Three include Santa Claus the Serial Killer – a six-part true-crime series that follows journalist Mobeen Azhar in Canada, exploring the case of serial killer Bruce McArthur – as well as Flight Club, a programme exploring life behind the scenes at an airline.
On the move, Simon Ward, Content Editor, at Redwood BBDO, creative studio, told City A.M.: “I’d have made the same call to close BBC Three as a broadcast channel in 2016. Younger audiences were deserting traditional TV, and its output was measured unfavourably next to the emerging streaming juggernauts.”
“Since then, the brand has been revitalised, creating some of the decade’s most acclaimed TV. Its return makes sense.”
Rebecca Candeland, Head of Broadcast, at Total Media echoed this point and said that the success of the relaunch hinges on its content offering: “Time will tell how the re-launch will be received but if the BBC focus on the truth that content is chosen over channel loyalty by viewers, and prioritise ease of discovery, then they are allowing themselves the strongest chance of return success as possible.”