BBC Trust receives official proposal to move BBC Three online
| 06 December 2014
The wheels are well in motion for the BBC to close BBC Three as a broadcast channel and reinvent it as an online-only proposition.

As per protocol, the BBC Trust — the body charged with ensuring Licence Fee payers obtain best value for money — has now received the detail of proposals from the BBC Executive for the closure as well as a plans for launching a BBC One+1 channel, extending the hours for the CBBC children’s channel and enhancing the BBC iPlayer.

These proposals were discussed on 3 December 2014 by the Trust Services Committee which confirmed that these proposals represent a significant change to the UK public services. In its regulatory role as set out in the Agreement, the Trust is therefore required to conduct a public value test, including a public consultation, so licence fee payers, audience groups and industry stakeholders have an opportunity to have their say on the proposals.

Only if the BBC sees evidence that the new public value is likely to outweigh any potentially damaging impact on the market will it allow the proposal to go to consultation. When the public consultation is over, the full Trust will make a decision.

The BBC Trust and UK broadcast regulator Ofcom will now agree terms of reference for a Market Impact Assessment (MIA). This will be conducted by Ofcom and a Public Value Assessment (PVA) will be conducted by the Trust. The Trust will also prepare a service description, which sets out in detail the Executive proposals and serves as a basis for the assessment.

A public consultation on the proposals will begin in January 2015. At the launch of the assessment and consultation, the Trust will publish on its website as much relevant information on the proposal as possible, including the application from the Executive, the service description prepared by the Trust Unit and an indicative timetable for the process.