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BBC Three may be about to move online, but that doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. That's the view of BBC drama chief Ben Stephenson, anyway.

Because the shows won't have to abide by watershed rules, "The change allows us to be a bit riskier," Stephenson told a BAFTA Television Question Time event earlier this week.

Commissioners won't have to fit in the usual time slots, and so can "play with the shape" of shows. "We are no longer committed to 60 minutes, and I'm particularly excited by that," he added.

The move could also have a beneficial knock-on effect for the BBC's other terrestrial channels. Stephenson said it had "opened up many more possibilities", and would mean a greater spread of shows for BBC One.

"What this proposal does is encourage me to commission even more diverse and broad content for BBC One," he said.

The closure of BBC Three is planned to start in autumn next year. The move isn't definite yet, but recently senior BBC execs hinted it would go ahead, despite the fact the channel is yet to establish itself online.

Source: Digital Spy

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