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BBC3 unveils new offerings

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6th February 2003

BBC3 launched on February 9th with programs shown simultaneously on BBC2. The new digital channel broadcasts from 7pm onwards each day and is primarily aimed at young adult viewers. BBC3's programming mix will include news, music, comedy and contemporary drama, viewers will also have the opportunity to see Eastenders episodes before they air on BBC1 for the first few weeks of the new channels life. BBC3 programming is also expected to have a strong commitment to factual programming, current affairs, science, business and ethics.

The new digital channel is part of the BBCs public service remit and will be funded by licence payers. BBC3 will be available alongside other current digital terrestrial services and the BBC is hoping that the new channel will help attract more viewers to it's digital offerings, reception of the new channel is also expected to be available on satellite and cable services.

New interactive services are also scheduled as part of the BBC3 format later in the year including "Fightbox" which brings together game and studio technology online, Fightbox software is expected to be made available online through the BBCi website ( early next year and will offer TV audiences a futuristic "gladiatorial sport" making heroes out of it's players, participants will be able to design 'Warriors' on their PCs using chosen components and after training their new creations will be able to enter them in a tournament, the winning "Warriors" will then compete against each other in the Fightbox finals.

Director of television Jana Bennett commented: "The BBC is committed to driving digital take-up and that is why I am happy to bring the strength of BBC1 and BBC2 to help show viewers what else is on offer."

Further information and program scheduling for the new channel is available on the BBC website

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