Deadline understands that BBC top brass have held talks about the possibility of reversing the controversial decision to kill BBC Three as a television channel.
Although no decision has been made, it is under review as the BBC prepares to publish its annual plan later this month — a document setting out the broadcaster’s strategic objectives for the year ahead.
The thinking is that BBC Three is in good health, buoyed by hits including RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Fleabag and This Country, and restoring the channel to television could be a battering ram in the BBC’s efforts to win back young viewers.
But the decision could have an impact on other services, given the BBC’s financial constraints. The suggestion being that cuts would have to be made elsewhere to fund BBC Three’s move back to TV.
BBC director general Tony Hall ultimately made the call to shift BBC Three online in 2014, sparking a vocal campaign to save the channel before it was switched off in 2016. If he changes his mind, he is likely to face accusations that he made a mistake in pulling the shutters down on the youth service.
The Daily Mail first reported on the BBC Three talks.