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BBC confirms proposals to restore BBC Three as linear TV channel

BBC confirms proposals to restore BBC Three as linear TV channel
© BBC
The BBC confirms that it is "considering the case" for restoring BBC Three as a linear TV channel.

The BBC has confirmed that it is "considering the case" for BBC Three to be restored as a linear TV channel following its huge success online.

The youth-skewing station was closed down in February 2016 and reborn online through iPlayer, where it has enjoyed huge ratings for shows including Killing Eve, Fleabag, This Country and RuPaul's Drag Race UK.

More recently the channel debuted the acclaimed teen drama Normal People, which has now been requested more than 38 million times since its launch at the end of April.

As a result the BBC is exploring plans to restore BBC Three as a bona fide TV channel and will formally confirm its intentions when it releases its annual plan on Wednesday.

Regardless of BBC Three's fate in that regard, the corporation is expected to more than double the channel's budget to over £80 million in the coming years despite needing to significantly cut costs across the board.

"Clearly no organisation from the smallest shop to the largest multinational won't be changed by this pandemic," a source told PA. "It will have financial implications for the BBC, but that doesn't mean we can't make choices. BBC Three has become the home to some of our biggest shows.

"We need to back that success, so within an environment where we are making difficult cuts, this is one of a limited number of areas, where we will seek to invest. Who wouldn't want more Fleabags, Killing Eves, This Country or Normal People?"

Recent rumours have suggested that on the flipside, BBC Four may be axed as a linear service and transferred online, although a spokesman insisted that there are currently no plans to change how the channel operates.

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