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BBC Rejects U.K. Producers’ Bid to Buy Youth Channel

LONDON — Two of the U.K.’s leading TV producers have tried to buy BBC youth channel BBC Three, but the broadcaster says it is not selling.

Jon Thoday, joint managing director of Avalon, and Jimmy Mulville, managing director of Hat Trick, told the Guardian Tuesday that they had submitted a bid to the BBC to buy the channel for £100 million ($152 million).

The BBC executive intends to take the channel off the air and transform it into an online-only platform for content in order to save about £50 million ($75.8 million) a year. The BBC’s governing body, the BBC Trust, on Tuesday started a formal review of the BBC management’s proposal.

Under Thoday and Mulville’s plan, BBC Three would continue to broadcast on TV, as well as being available online, and it would continue to focus on its core audience, 16 to 34 year olds. The channel’s program budget would rise from £81 million ($123 million) to £100 million ($152 million) a year, and the amount that the channel spends on U.K. production companies and talent would rise by about 20%.

Among BBC Three shows are Avalon’s “Russell Howard’s Good News,” and U.S. acquisitions such as “Family Guy.” It also airs Hollywood movies.

In a Tweet, the BBC responded: “BBC Three not for sale because it’s not closing — proposal to move it online is part of bold move to reinvent BBC’s offer for young people.”

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