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BBC Three
BBC Three.svg
BBC Three logo
Launched 9 February 2003
Owned by BBC
Picture format 16:9 SDTV
Audience share 1.2% (September 2009, BARB)
Country United Kingdom
Replaced BBC Choice
Sister channel(s) BBC One,
BBC Two,
BBC Four,
BBC News,
BBC Parliament,
BBC HD
Website www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree
Availability
Terrestrial
Freeview Channel 7
Satellite
Freesat Channel 106
Sky Digital Channel 115
Astra 2D 10773H 22000 5/6
Cable
Virgin Media Channel 106
UPC Ireland Channel 116
UPC Netherlands Channel 805
WightCable Channel 106/10
Ziggo (Netherlands) Channel 52
Telenet (Belgium) Channel 565
Naxoo (Switzerland) Channel 215
IPTV
TalkTalk TV Channel 19
Internet television
BBC Online Watch live (UK only)
TVCatchup Watch live (UK only)
BBC iPlayer Watch live (UK only)

BBC Three is a television channel from the BBC broadcasting via digital cable, terrestrial, IPTV and satellite platforms. The channel is described by the BBC as an outlet for 'New drama, talent, comedy, films, and accessible news'. The channel is on-air from 19:00 to about 04:00 each night, in order to share terrestrial television bandwidth with the CBBC Channel[citation needed]. Unlike its commercial rivals, 90% of BBC Three's output is from the United Kingdom and other European Union countries. 80% is original, covering all genres, from current affairs, to drama, to comedy to animation. BBC Three has a unique '60 second news' format. This was adopted so that operation of the channel could be completely automated, without the complication of dealing with variable length live news broadcasts. The current controller of the station is Danny Cohen,[1] and the Head of Scheduling is Dan McGolpin.

Contents

Launch

The channel is the successor to the similar BBC Choice and was launched on 9 February 2003[citation needed], eleven months after the originally planned launch date (and the launch of BBC Four). The delay was due to debate over its proposed format - some felt it wouldn't be sufficiently different from existing commercial channels catering to young people. The channel was launched by Stuart Murphy, who previously ran BBC Choice, and before that UK Play, the now-discontinued UKTV music and comedy channel on which ran Rock Profile, by Matt Lucas and David Walliams (who went on to star in Little Britain). At 33, Murphy was the youngest channel controller in the country, a title he held since launching UK Play at the age of 26, although on 20 October 2005 it was announced that Murphy was soon to leave the channel to work in commercial television.

Identity

One of the former BBC Three "Blobs"
The new presentation style was introduced in January 2008.

The channel's original idents were conceived by Stefan Marjoram at Aardman Animations and were used from launch until February 2008. Stuart Murphy was touring Aardman Animations looking for new programming ideas for BBC Three when he spotted the cone shaped creatures, he then took the idea back to the Lambie-Nairn agency, responsible for the BBC Three identity package.[2] A feature of this identity is also the music "Three Is The Magic Number", based (only the lyrics are copied) upon Schoolhouse Rock!.

BBC Online provided a number of downloads and activities based on the channel's identity, these included "BlobMate", screensavers, wallpapers and also games such as BlobLander and BlobBert. The idea used by both Lambie-Nairn, who had developed the branding for CBeebies and CBBC, and Aardman, was to create the BBC Three blobs as a relation to the green and yellow blobs of the children's channels. Up until they rebranded the channel, it had two continuity announcers, Kieron Elliott, who has a Scottish accent, and also presents the breakfast show on 96.3 Rock Radio, and a female, Lola Buckley who has a Yorkshire accent. Presently the continuity announcements are done by either Collette Collins or Gavin Inskip.

On 22 January 2008 a new channel identity was unveiled. Rebranding was carried out by Red Bee Media, along with agencies MPG and Agency Republic with music and sound design by creative audio company Koink.[3]

Programming

Milestones

In early 2003, viewers could watch episodes of popular BBC soap opera EastEnders on BBC Three before they were broadcast on BBC One. This programming decision coincided with the relaunch of the channel and helped it break the one million viewers milestone for the first time. An episode of EastEnders Revealed, which was commissioned for BBC Three, attracted 611,000 viewers.

In October 2004, BBC Three broke its previous viewing record when 1.8 million viewers tuned in for a new series of the award-winning comedy, Little Britain.[4] Little Britain was later broadcast on the BBC's terrestrial analogue channels BBC One and BBC Two. In the same year, the newly commissioned Chris Crudelli hit Mind, Body & Kick Ass Moves was exported to over 100 countries.

In 2005, BBC Three showed the documentary series Doctor Who Confidential immediately after episodes of the new series of Doctor Who had been screened on BBC One. This was followed up in July 2005, when it began to screen repeats of both programmes. Coincidentally, the 1971 Doctor Who story The Dæmons featured a broadcast on a then-fictional BBC Three. In October 2005, it was announced that BBC Three had commissioned a spin-off drama series from Doctor Who, Torchwood, designed as a post-watershed science fiction drama for a more adult audience. Torchwood launched with an impressive 2.4 million viewers in October 2006, breaking BBC Three's previous record of 1.8 million for Little Britain.[5]Torchwood is the first science fiction programme ever to have been commissioned by the channel, although it had previously shown repeats of Doctor Who and imported programmes such as Farscape.

In 2006, BBC Three aired the first run of a back-up show for BBC Two's The Apprentice, You're Fired! until sport and high ratings moved it to BBC Two.

Other programmes

Other successful new programmes have included:

BBC Three is also home to many pan-psychology based programmes which bring topics such as addictions and childcare into an entertainment and educational context. Such programmes include:

BBC Three has also focused on the beauty market, with the 'Beauty season' as well as continuous beauty shows. These include: 'Jamelia: Whose Hair Is It Anyway?", 'Look But Don't Touch' (presented by Alesha Dixon), and one of the channel's top shows: Snog Marry Avoid?.

The channel features hourly news updates called 60 Seconds, presented by Tasmin Lucia Khan during the week, which include the top news, sport and entertainment stories. They are presented in a relaxed style in keeping with the rest of the channel. As part of the BBC's discussions with the government regarding the founding of the channel, a longer news programme had been promised to provide a daily section of news and current affairs. The News Show, as it came to be called upon launch was later rebranded The 7 O'Clock News. However, the BBC discontinued the bulletin in 2005, claiming that the programme's audience was minuscule and the output was provided elsewhere on the BBC[citation needed].

Viewership

BBC three viewing share to July 2008

The channel is aimed at 15-34 year olds,[10] and competes with other digital channels including ITV2 and E4.[11]

In 2008 it reached 26.3% of 16-34 year olds in digital homes — the channel's highest ever such reach and above that of E4, ITV2, Dave and Sky One.[12]

Meanwhile, Its share of the audience during its transmission hours is 2.6% among 15-34 year olds, and 1.7% among all individuals. BARB, the official ratings agency, averages out BBC Three's viewing figures over 24 hours even though the channel only broadcasts in the evening, giving a distorted sense of the channel's viewership. Despite several official complaints from the BBC, BARB continues to publish figures which the BBC argues are unrepresentative. Nine million people watch BBC Three every week.[4]

The following is a list of the ten most watched broadcasts on BBC Three, from BARB data up to 21 February 2010.[13]

Rank Show Episode Number of Viewers (thousands) Date
1 Eastenders Live: The Aftermath N/A 4,537 19 February 2010
2 Torchwood 1.1 Everything Changes 2,519 22 October 2006
3 Torchwood 1.2 Day One 2,498 22 October 2006
4 The Weakest Link Eastenders Special 2,005 19 February 2010
5 Eastenders 07/07/2009 1,907 7 July 2009
6 Gavin & Stacey 2.1 1,894 16 March 2008
7 Gavin & Stacey 2.2 1,869 16 March 2008
8 Gavin & Stacey 2.4 1,799 30 March 2008
9 Eastenders 31/03/2009 1,795 31 March 2009
10 Eastenders 09/04/2009 1,782 9 April 2009

Awards

The channel has had critical and popular successes, winning more awards in its six year history than its commercial rivals (Sky One, Living, E4, ITV2, Five and Comedy Central) have won in their combined 25-year history. In total BBC Three has won 7 BAFTA awards, 5 British Comedy Awards, 15 Royal Television Society Awards and 5 Rose d'Or Awards since the channel was launched in February 2003. Most recently, it won Broadcast Magazine's Digital Channel of the Year Award for Best General Entertainment Channel, and MGEITF Non Terrestrial Channel of the Year.

All three of BBC Three's dramas produced in 2004 (Outlaws, Bodies and Conviction) received BAFTA nominations, as did classical music show Flashmob The Opera[citation needed]

In 2008, BBC Three's Gavin and Stacey won the BAFTA audience award and the best comedy performance award was awarded to James Corden for his part.[citation needed]

Criticism

The channel has also come in for criticism from several corners, the most prominent of which are some of the BBC's long-standing presenters. These include John Humphrys, who argued that BBC Three and BBC Four should be shut down in the face of budget cuts to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, which he presents,[14] John Sweeney of Panorama,[15] and Jeremy Paxman are among other journalists have also criticised the channel and its content.[16] But BBC Three will stay in operation according to Digital Spy.

Proposed earlier start time for BBC Three

BBC Vision director, Jana Bennett, confirmed in an interview for Broadcast magazine in May 2008 that the BBC Trust has been petitioned to change the start of transmission time from the current time of 7pm each evening to earlier in the afternoon. A decision from the Trust is not expected until 2009.[17]

Bennett said that some of the extra hours would be given over to BBC Switch the BBC's teen programming strand.

References

  1. ^ "BBC - Press Office - Danny Cohen named Controller of BBC Three". http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/04_april/10/three.shtml. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  2. ^ "The TV Room - BBC Three - February 2003-February 2008". http://thetvroom.com/bbcuk/bbc-3-01-01.html. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  3. ^ "Home - Creative Production - Original Music - Koink". http://www.koink.uk.com. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  4. ^ a b The British Broadcasting Corporation (2006-02). "Key Facts: BBC Three". Press release. http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/keyfacts/stories/bbcthree.shtml. Retrieved 2007-01-08. 
  5. ^ "Torchwood scores record audience". BBC News. 2006-10-23. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6077078.stm. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  6. ^ "BBC - Lily Allen and Friends". http://www.bbc.co.uk/lilyallen/. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  7. ^ "BBC - Press Office - BBC Three commissions documentaries season". http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/09_september/09/young.shtml. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  8. ^ "BBC - Press Office - BBC Three drama pilots herald new younger drama". http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/07_july/10/pilots.shtml. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  9. ^ 'Horne And Corden' breaks BBC record DigitalSpy
  10. ^ "BBC - Press Office - BBC Three key facts". http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/keyfacts/stories/bbcthree.shtml. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  11. ^ "Is BBC Three a commercial threat? - Brand Republic Login - Brand Republic". http://www.brandrepublic.com/login/News/779694/. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  12. ^ "BBC Trust Service Review Younger audiences: BBC Three, Radio 1 and 1Xtra". http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/regulatory_framework/service_licences/service_reviews/yar/yar_review.pdf/. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  13. ^ BARB, via [1]
  14. ^ Ian Burrell. "Humphrys: BBC cost-cutters should axe new channels". http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/humphrys-bbc-costcutters-should-axe-new-channels-401269.html. Retrieved 08-05-2008. 
  15. ^ Daniel Bates. "Scrap BBC Three and Four to save prestigious programmes, says veteran journalist John Humphrys". http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=479553&in_page_id=1770. Retrieved 08-05-2008. 
  16. ^ Camilla Cavendish. "BBC Three and Four, your number's up". London. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/camilla_cavendish/article2028767.ece. Retrieved 08-05-2008. 
  17. ^ "What Satellite & Digital TV". http://blog.wotsat.com/page/whatsat?entry=bbc_three_plans_extended_broadcast. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 

External links


Simple English

BBC 3 redirects here. For the radio station, please see BBC Radio 3
BBC Three
Launched9 February, 2003
NetworkBBC
Owned byBritish Broadcasting Corporation
Picture format16:9, 576i (SDTV)
Audience share1.2%[1] (September 2009 - see details)
Country United Kingdom
ReplacedBBC Choice
Sister channel(s)BBC One,
BBC Two,
BBC Four
Websitewww.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree
Availability
Terrestrial
Freeview7
Satellite
Freesat106
Sky Digital115
Astra 2D10773H 22000 5/6
Cable
Virgin Media106
UPC Ireland116
UPC Netherlands805
WightCable106/10
Ziggo (Netherlands)52
Telenet (Belgium)565
IPTV over ADSL
Tiscali TV19
Internet Television
bbc.co.ukWatch online


BBC Three is a British television channel from the BBC. It does not broadcast on analogue, but only on digital platforms like freeview.

Contents

BBC Three is described by the BBC as a channel for 'New drama, talent, comedy, films, and accessible news'. It runs from 19:00 to about 04:00 each night, in order to share terrestrial digital bandwidth with the CBBC channel. Unlike its commercial rivals, 90% of BBC Three's output is from the United Kingdom and other European Union countries. 80% is original, covering all genres: from current affairs, to drama, to comedy to animation.

BBC Three has a unique '60 second news' format. This was adopted so that operation of the channel could be completely automated, without the complication of dealing with variable length live news broadcasts. The current controller of the station is Danny Cohen,[2] and the Head of Scheduling is Dan McGolpin.

Launch

BBC Three is the successor to the similar BBC Choice channel and was launched on 9 February 2003. It was launched by Stuart Murphy, who previously ran BBC Choice.

Programming

Some of the programmes that have appeared for their first showing on BBC Three include EastEnders (2003), Little Britain (October 2004)[3], Doctor Who Confidential (2005), and Torchwood (2006), The Apprentice, You're Fired! (2006). When the first episode of Torchwood was launched in October 2006 on BBC Three, 2.4 million people watched it. This broke BBC Three's previous record of 1.8 million,[4]. The second episode attracted an equally impressive 2.3 million viewers, and boosted BBC Three to a 3.5% share of multichannel viewing that evening, compared to the network's three month Sunday average of 0.9%.

The channel features hourly news updates called 60 Seconds, which includes the top news, sport and entertainment stories. It is presented in a cheeky, relaxed style in keeping with the rest of the channel. As part of the BBC's discussions with the government in whether the channel could launch originally, a longer news programme had been promised to provide a daily section of news and current affairs. The News Show, as it came to be called upon launch was later rebranded The 7 O'Clock News. However, the BBC discontinued the bulletin in 2005, claiming that in fact, the programme's audiences were minuscule and the output was provided elsewhere on the BBC.

Viewing

The channel is aimed at 25-34 year olds,[5] and competes with other digital channels including ITV2 and E4.[6]

Its share of the audience during its transmission hours is 2.6% among 25-34 year olds, and 1.7% among all individuals. BARB, the official ratings agency, averages out BBC Three's viewing figures over 24 hours even though the channel only broadcasts in the evening, giving a distorted sense of the channel's viewership. Despite several official complaints from the BBC, BARB continues to publish figures which the BBC argues are unrepresentative. Nine million people watch BBC Three every week.[3]

Awards

The channel has had critical and popular successes, winning more awards in its four year history than its commercial rivals (Sky One, Living, E4, ITV2, Five and Paramount Comedy Channel) have won in their combined 25-year history. In total BBC Three has won 7 BAFTA awards, 5 British Comedy Awards, 15 Royal Television Society Awards and 5 Rose d'Or Awards since the channel was launched in February 2003. Most recently, it won Broadcast Magazine's Digital Channel of the Year Award for Best General Entertainment Channel, and MGEITF Non Terrestrial Channel of the Year.

All three of BBC Three's dramas produced in 2004 (Outlaws, Bodies and Conviction) received BAFTA nominations, as did classical music show Flashmob The Opera.

In 2008, BBC Three's Gavin and Stacey won the BAFTA audience award and the best comedy performance award was awarded to James Corden for his part.

Criticism

The channel has also come in for criticism from several corners, the most prominent of which are some of the BBC's long-standing presenters. These include John Humphrys, who argued that BBC Three and BBC Four should be shut down in the face of budget cuts to Radio 4's Today programme, which he presents,[7] John Sweeney of Panorama,[8] and Jeremy Paxman are among other journalists have also criticised the channel and its content.[9]

Proposed earlier start time for BBC Three

BBC Vision director Jana Bennett confirmed in an interview[10] for Broadcast magazine in May 2008 that the BBC Trust has been petitioned to change the start of transmission time from the current time of 7pm each evening to earlier in the afternoon. A decision from the Trust is not expected until 2009.

Bennett said that some of the extra hours would be given over to BBC Switch the BBC's teen programming strand.

References

  1. BARB channel viewing report
  2. "BBC - Press Office - Danny Cohen named Controller of BBC Three". http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/04_april/10/three.shtml. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 The British Broadcasting Corporation (2006-02). "Key Facts: BBC Three". Press release. Retrieved on 11 August 2008.
  4. "Torchwood scores record audience". BBC News. 2006-10-23. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6077078.stm. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  5. "BBC - Press Office - BBC Three key facts". http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/keyfacts/stories/bbcthree.shtml. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  6. "Is BBC Three a commercial threat? - Brand Republic Login - Brand Republic". http://www.brandrepublic.com/login/News/779694/. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 
  7. Ian Burrell. "Humphrys: BBC cost-cutters should axe new channels". http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/humphrys-bbc-costcutters-should-axe-new-channels-401269.html. Retrieved 08-05-2008. 
  8. Daniel Bates. "Scrap BBC Three and Four to save prestigious programmes, says veteran journalist John Humphrys". http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=479553&in_page_id=1770. Retrieved 08-05-2008. 
  9. Camilla Cavendish. "BBC Three and Four, your number's up". http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/camilla_cavendish/article2028767.ece. Retrieved 08-05-2008. 
  10. "What Satellite & Digital TV". http://blog.wotsat.com/page/whatsat?entry=bbc_three_plans_extended_broadcast. Retrieved 2008-08-11. 

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