The shape of things to come at BBC Three

Damian KavanaghDamian Kavanagh, who is leading the transition of BBC Three from terrestrial to online, has today outlined specific details of the plans for the channel. 

The plans, which have yet to be officially approved by the BBC Trust,  will encompass two main editorial 'pillars': Make Me Think and Make Me Laugh, with both utilising new forms, durations and interactive content.

It is understood that the £50m savings made from moving the channel from broadcast to online will be ploughed back into BBC Three and also go towards BBC One.

Specific changes include an extra two hours per night broadcasting on CBBC, as well as the launch of a catch-up channel, BBC One +1.

Kavanagh described his vision in a blog on Wednesday in which he goes into more detail about the plans, and explains more about the ideas behind the editorial pillars:

"Make Me Think would be a mix of documentary, current affairs, news and drama that would cover topics that offer new perspectives and open people's minds to new subjects or issues. Make Me Laugh would be centred around scripted comedy, like Uncle or Gavin & Stacey, plus personality-led entertainment that would be both provocative and edgy. Both pillars would cover topics audiences are passionate about. This is what audiences have told us they want from a public service, service like new BBC Three".

He continued: "The other area we can innovate with is digital content. 80% of new BBC Three's budget would be spent on long form shows like Murdered by My Boyfriend and Bad Education. The other 20% would be devoted to new form digital content. This would include a range of content which we know young audiences consume and we want to innovate in - short form video, image led storytelling, votes on reactive topics or blog posts from contributors that will make people laugh and think and deliver a richer experience around our content.

"Imagine the Revolution guys being able to react to the 4p porridge story and getting something out on the day, or publishing an animated interview with the mother of a victim of a domestic abuse straight after Murdered By My Boyfriend.

"This 80/20 mix would extend and enhance the BBC Three experience and be of the moment, giving audiences more. It's a radical change for a "TV channel" to propose committing such a significant amount of its budget to "non-TV" content but I believe this will lead to greater innovation and allow us to engage with audiences for longer and more depth than ever before."

BBC Director-General Tony Hall said of the plans: "With the licence fee frozen we've had to make difficult decisions - and none more so than our proposal to move BBC Three online. In rising to this challenge, we've managed to come up one of the most exciting and ambitious proposals I've seen since I came back to the BBC."

BBC Three launched in 2003 and is set to go online only in the autumn of 2015.



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