It will be available on Freeview, Sky, Virgin and Freesat with EPG numbers to be confirmed at a later date.
Commenting on the decision, Fiona Campbell, Controller BBC Three said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that Ofcom have now confirmed that BBC Three will be returning to TV screens next year. This is a big moment, with the new channel providing a destination for young audiences to discover more content on the BBC. We will work hand in hand with iPlayer to provide a broad offering that is representative of the whole of the UK and we will continue to back new talent and bold ideas. This approach will bring the audience a distinctive mix of programmes that are there to entertain, inspire and challenge thinking, at a pivotal and exciting time to be young in the UK”.
In light of the channel’s approval, the BBC and Pact have agreed a new Terms of Trade deal for television productions made by independent producers.
The BBC notes that The new terms coupled with BBC Three’s return as a broadcast channel is a positive outcome for all parties as it will provide more value to audiences, ensures a clear framework for producers and provides the BBC with flexibility to have programmes available to watch on both BBC Three and iPlayer.
It adds that BBC Three will deliver greater public value to all audiences by further increasing the diversity and creativity of the output. It is aiming for two-thirds of the expanded programme spend to be outside of London, providing more opportunity for a wider range of suppliers from across the whole of the UK.
BBC’s commercial, rights & business affairs director, Jo Korn, added: “This new deal is great news for both the BBC and independent producers, and we are really pleased to have concluded this in good time for launch. It provides the channel with the flexibility to ensure its programmes deliver real value to audiences however they wish to view the content, as well as recognition of success for producers.
Pact’s director of business affairs, Max Rumney, said: “Our members are pleased to see the return of the linear channel and the opportunities this will bring for producers to showcase the brilliant creativity of the UK independent production sector. It is a great example of Pact and the BBC working together to deliver a positive result for everyone”.
The BBC has also provided details of the trade deal with PACT. For BBC Three commissions, the BBC will have a two-year window on iPlayer plus unlimited transmissions on the BBC Three broadcast channel during the first 18 months. The BBC also has a further 18 transmission days on BBC Three for the remaining 3.5 years of licence included within the initial programme payment to independent producers. For transmissions on other BBC channels, repeats can be purchased separately under existing terms. For iPlayer use beyond the 2 years, a payment of 1% for non-exclusivity and 2% for exclusivity is required for each 12-month extension, and each time the BBC acquires an additional iPlayer window, the initial licence term reduces by 6 months (but can be extended).