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BBC Three will go off air soon and become online-only, after the BBC Trust approved plans to remove the channel from digital TV set top boxes.

The move was first suggested last summer, and has now been provisionally accepted. That's because it passed the 'public value' test.

Making BBC Three purely part of BBC iPlayer could save the BBC £30 million a year, according to the Trust.

Its target market of 16-34-year-olds are also more likely to watch shows online, the Trust claims. Accordingly, this will apparently make the BBC Three brand more "distinctive".

However, the Trust also identified some concerns, namely that a lot of people wouldn't realise that BBC Three still exists once it's taken off air.

One possible workaround is the potential to run both the broadcast and online versions of BBC Three at the same time, to raise awareness of the changeover.

It also specifies that BBC One and/or Two make more programmes for young people, and that an experimental space is made on broadcast television and online "where risks can be taken with new talent and new ideas of the sort that BBC Three has been successful in developing".

The Trust also rejected the plan for a BBC One +1 channel, as it would adversely affect the profitability of rival broadcasters like ITV and Channel 5.

These recommendations will now be reviewed before final approval. There's no word on when that will be, but we'd imagine it will be months rather than weeks.

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