BBC Three to be first UK channel to air content through broadband

MUMBAI: BBC Three will be the first UK channel to premiere its programmes on broadband. It will stream the new series of the hit comedy The Mighty Boosh from 19 July 2005 - a week ahead of its transmission on air on 26 July.

The Mighty Boosh is the first of a number of BBC Three comedies that will be premiered via broadband in the coming months. Audiences will be able to watch streamed programmes when they want on and catch up if they've missed an episode.

All episodes will be available to view for up to seven days after the final programme of the series transmits on BBC Three. The broadcaster states that the service further enhances its growing reputation as an innovative and mature digital brand, as the channel seeks to exploit cross-platform opportunities to offer viewers more control and greater access to its programmes.

BBC Director of Television Jana Bennett says, "The broadband premiere of The Mighty Boosh is a significant step forward in offering our audiences even greater value in a changing television world. It is one of a number of pilots that BBC Television will be undertaking over the next few months, exploiting the opportunities that new technologies offer to look at how programmes might be delivered beyond the traditional linear broadcast."

Produced by Steve Coogan and Henry Normal's Baby Cow Productions, The Mighty Boosh sees the return of intrepid heroes Vince Noir (Noel Fielding) and Howard Moon (Julian Barratt) as they embark on a string of brand new adventures.The first series, shown last year on BBC Three and subsequently on BBC Two was nominated for Best Comedy Newcomer at the 2004 British Comedy Awards.

According to Ofcom (January 2005), six million households in the UK have broadband connections. Recent financial statements from BT and NTL place the market size at over six million (five million for BT and one million for NTL), which rises to over seven million homes when including Wanadoo, AOL, Tiscali and other providers (around half of all internet connections).

Currently, there is a new broadband connection every 10 seconds. In May 2005 15.1 million people aged 15+ claimed to have a broadband connection at home, up 222 per cent on the same time last year (BMRB).

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