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BBC Three

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BBC Three
Missing image
BBC3_ident.jpg
image:BBC3 ident.jpg

ReplacedBBC Choice
Launched:February 9 2003
Audience Share (Aug 2004[1] (http://www.barb.co.uk/viewingsummary/monthreports.cfm?report=monthgmulti)):0.9%
Owned By:BBC
Web Address:www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree
Availability
Terrestrial Analogue:not available
Terrestrial Digital:Freeview Channel 7
Satellite:Sky Digital Channel 115
Cable:NTL Channel 126

Telewest Channel 106

BBC Three, the replacement for BBC Choice, is a British television channel from the BBC broadcasting only on digital cable, terrestrial and satellite.

Launched on February 9, 2003 (eleven months after the launch of BBC Four), the channel is described by the BBC as an outlet for "New drama, talent, British comedy, top films and accessible news". The channel is on-air from 19:00 to 04:00 each night, in order to share terrestrial digital bandwidth with the CBBC channel.

The unique '60 second news' format was adopted so that operation of the channel could be completely automated, without the complication of dealing with variable length live news broadcasts.

The channel's idents (developed by Lambie-Nairn) feature a range of cute orange cone shaped creatures ('the blobs') provided by Aardman Animations.

The output of the channel has been criticised by Private Eye which argues that the 90m set up of the channel was too costly and driven by consultants and much of the schedule is taken up with the celebrity filler items and spin-offs of unpopular programmes such as Fame Academy. The channel has had critical and popular successes with series such as Little Britain but even this been rapidly promoted to the main BBC Channels in 2004.

Popularity

In early 2003 - viewers could watch episodes of popular BBC soap opera EastEnders on BBC Three before they were broadcast on BBC1. This was to coincide with the relaunch of the channel and helped it break the one million viewers milestone for the first time with 1,030,000 million who watched to see Mark Fowler's departure.

However the episode was not originally commissioned for the channel, an episode of EastEnders Revealed which was - attracted 611,000 viewers.

In October of 2004, BBC Three broke its previous records with 1.8 million viewers tuning in for a new series of the award-winning comedy, Little Britain.


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