BBC Three announced in March that it plans to relaunch BBC Three as a linear TV channel in January 2022.
UK broadcast regulator Ofcom is launching a full competition assessment into the BBC’s proposal to launch BBC Three as a television channel to ensure that any change the BBC wishes to make to its publicly-funded TV, radio and online services does not give it an unfair advantage over broadcasters.
Ofcom's concerns are that the relaunch of BBC Three would impact other broadcaster's revenue and profitability, potentially harming their willingness to invest and innovate if audiences switch to the new BBC Three channel. It points to the potential impact on other broadcasters of needing to move down the EPG dependent on the prominence of BBC Three.
Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer said : "The BBC needs to back success and make sure its programmes reach as many young people as possible wherever they live in the UK. So regardless of the debates about the past, we want to give BBC Three its own broadcast channel again. It has exciting, ground breaking content that deserves the widest possible audience and using iPlayer alongside a broadcast channel will deliver the most value."
Ofcom must complete its assessment within six months. During which, it will conduct a detailed analysis of the BBC’s proposal and consult on a provisional decision as to whether the BBC can proceed with the relaunch of BBC Three.
UPDATED: BBC have released the following statement: This is the standard process, we do not anticipate any delays and we continue to plan for a January 2022 launch - subject to approval.