BBC4 to launch in March

LONDON - BBC4, the new digital arts channel from the BBC and which will replace BBC Knowledge, is to launch on March 2, seeing all but one of the broadcaster's new digital TV offerings go live by the spring.

The news comes on the heels of the broadcaster's announcement earlier this week that its two new daytime digital children's channels, CBBC Digital and Cbeebies, will launch on February 11.

However, there is still no news on BBC3, the new youth channel that was rejected by the government when it was originally submitted along with the other three channels.

The BBC resubmitted carefully reworked plans to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in early December. The new plans place greater emphasis on current affairs and news, after the first proposal was viewed as too similar to its rivals E4 and Sky One.

The DCMS is currently holding a public consultation on the proposals, which closes on January 25. It could take up to two months for the secretary of state Tessa Jowell to decide on whether the channel goes ahead, depending on the amount and nature of the responses to the consultation.

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