Plans to scrap BBC Three as a TV channel and move it online have today been approved by the BBC Trust.
The provisional approval of the corporation’s plans, making it all but guaranteed to go ahead, will disappoint many viewers and celebrities who launched a #savebbc3 campaign.
The trust did however recognise the potential impact of the closure of the TV channel on younger audiences and stipulated that BBC One and Two are to broadcast more BBC Three programmes aimed at 16-34 year olds.
BBC Trust chairman Rona Fairhead said: “We know young audiences are already moving towards the online future, but we do recognise that in the short term some of them will feel the immediate impact of the BBC Three proposals.
“We are therefore asking the BBC for commitments to ensure it uses the full range of its television services to better serve young people and others who make up BBC Three’s audience.”
Around 80% of its new £30m budget will be spent on documentaries such as Life and Death Row and long-form comedy shows like Bad Education and Cuckoo, instead of lighter formats such as Snog, Marry, Avoid.
Fairhead said the decision, which will save the BBC £30m a year, was “finely balanced as a timing issue and a budget issue” and had taken “cost pressures into account”.
The trust also rejected proposals for a new BBC One+1 channel, which it said would be at the expense of commercial rivals.