In a blow to the BBC, the BBC Trust rejected the proposal to launch a new BBC1+1 channel in place of BBC3 because of its likely impact on commercial rivals including ITV and Channel 5.
The corporation had intended to replace the BBC3 TV channel with a one-hour time-shifted version of BBC1, a move that concerned commercial rivals, branding it a ratings-driven move.
The BBC Trust has rejected the proposal, saying it has limited public value and cites a range of issues including a lack of distinctiveness, and that almost a quarter of UK households would need to upgrade TV equipment to receive the channel.
Ofcom’s market impact assessment concluded that a BBC1+1 channel would have a negative impact on commercial rivals, “capturing viewing share for the BBC at the expense of commercial channels and reducing the profitability, in particular, of ITV and Channel 5”.
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