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BBC3 in $14m formats budget boost

UK online-only network BBC3 has secured £10m (US$13.85m) in additional programming budget to support the launch of a formats-focused editorial pillar.

Damian Kavanagh

The money is intended to provide more opportunities for programme makers to connect with young audiences through factual entertainment formats and will sit alongside existing pillars Make Me Laugh and Make Me Think.

BBC3 chief Damian Kavanagh said he wanted to “bring a new spirit to our content” following the expanded remit, “which celebrates young people and their passions by commissioning new, innovative, contemporary takes on fact ent, formats and entertainment which will unite and inspire our young audience.”

The UK pubcaster’s network is on the lookout for ideas with feel-good, entertaining propositions at their heart that celebrate and unite young people and get them talking.

The online-only channel has enjoyed success since shifting from its linear home two years ago, a move that prompted industry concerns over its ability to provide opportunities to take creative risks and focus on programmes for younger audiences.

However, shows such as Fleabag, Murdered by my Father, People Just Do Nothing and Murder in Successville have been well received by audiences.

The decision to move BBC3 online is thought to have saved the pubcaster around £30m (US$45m) a year, less than the £50m the BBC cited when the plans were first revealed last year.

BBC director of content Charlotte Moore said: “We are reinventing the BBC for a new generation and BBC3’s role in that is more important than ever. I’m really proud of what Damian and the team have achieved over the last two years and this extra investment is a clear signal of our commitment to entertaining young audiences into the future.”

Kavanagh also announced a host of new programmes, including Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Killing Eve, which was ordered by BBC America, factual show Stacey Dooley Investigates: ‘Punishment’ Attacks – Shot by my neighbours (working title) and Annie Price: The Truth About Having a Baby.

Also on the slate is mental illness doc The Voices in my Head (w/t), comedy Enterprice and a longform version of Eating with my Ex, which started out as a shortform show on BBC3.

Kavanagh added: “These new programmes emphasise BBC3’s commitment to working with new talent and providing a platform to tell stories that resonate with young people.”


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