BBC iPlayer starts BBC Three migration: Jonah from Tonga first series to hit online before terrestrial

The BBC is still waiting for BBC Trust approval for its plans to make BBC Three an online-only channel through BBC iPlayer, but it has started preparing viewers for the prospective transition.

Australian comedy series Jonah from Tonga will be the first to be available on iPlayer in its entirety before its terrestrial debut, and can be seen as a step by the corporation to educate BBC Three fans on its ultimate intent.

If the BBC Trust gives the go ahead for the move, all BBC Three content will be exclusive to iPlayer, so while Jonah from Tonga might not tick your boxes, it does give an idea on how the BBC would like all programming, whether bought from abroad or made specifically, to work in future.

READ: BBC Three closure and iPlayer integration was inevitable, but brand will remain

It is a six episode series that will hit the online service on Friday, 2 May and will then be available for 48 hours. The show will then air on BBC Three from Thursday, 8 May. It also marks the first time BBC iPlayer has partnered with an overseas broadcaster for a simulcast event - in this case ABC Australia.

"This is BBC iPlayer’s first collaboration with an international broadcaster to create an online TV event," said Victoria Jaye, head of TV content for the platform.

"For 48 hours only, iPlayer audiences will be given access to all episodes of Chris Lilley’s new comedy series. We’re excited to see how this digital event sets light to social media activity from fans both here and on the other side of the world."