In February 2015, the BBC made an historic move. It closed BBC Three, moving it to become an online-only brand. The TV channel that had incubated huge hits for the BBC, such as Gavin & Stacey, Little Britain and Russell Howard's Good News, was no more.
At the time, a petition calling on the BBC Director General and the BBC Trust to reconsider the plans predicted a disaster, and attracted over 300,000 signatures. However, the BBC pressed ahead with its plans and the channel disappeared from the air. It would be fair to say that if you were placing a bet with an online bookmaker at that time you would have probably got very good odds on it not surviving long.
Now a little over a year on from the move, has the decision paid off? Bluntly: it's still too early to say.
In a recent interview with trade magazine Broadcast, channel controller Damian Kavanagh suggested they were hitting their targets, commenting: "I'm really proud that we have engaged new talent - writers, producers, actors and directors - across the board. Backing those new, fresh voices is the way that you can really stand out and become distinctive."
Indeed, Three continues to be home to cult hits, but most of its bigger programmes - comedies such as Murder In Successville, Witless, Cuckoo, Josh and People Just Do Nothing; all of which are due to return for another series later this year - are projects that began when BBC Three was still a television channel
Whilst they've backed a plethora of shorts and sketches, in the last 12 months BBC Three has only launched a handful of new full-length comedies, so there has been little opportunity for anything to break out and become a popular success, or indeed to judge the new Three's commissioning hit-rate.
Fleabag (pictured, above) was launched in the summer and met with unanimous critical praise, but has yet to find any wider public appeal; whilst stand-up showcase Live At The BBC - although returning imminently for a second series - has faced a similar lack of popular break-through. Meanwhile word is certainly spreading about This Country, currently being repeated on BBC One after Match Of The Day. However, most will still have not even heard of this mockumentary, never mind tuned in.
One of the key principles of BBC Three as a television channel was always to find and foster new talent. On this front, the new online short form incarnation of the brand is perhaps faring better. It will take a number of years yet to truly judge whether talent is still being successfully developed, but the commissioning of a greater number of shorter comedy sketches and series from erstwhile bedroom amateurs is an undoubted boost to those lucky enough to be chosen. They may not be gaining experience of real-world, professional television and film studios, pitching and production, but money and chances are certainly being made available for them to have their work seen by wider audiences.
According to BBC figures, up to 1.5 million people come to BBC Three content on iPlayer each week, but Kavanagh has admittedly they need to do more. To do that, he is about to hire a dedicated short-form commissioner and assistant commissioner who will focus solely on independently produced short-form content. So we will soon see even more home-grown content on the channel's YouTube platform.
But in closing a channel, the BBC has also gambled with its very future.
At a time when it is increasingly paranoid about possible reforms or privatisation, the corporation has chosen to play a high-stakes game it can ill-afford to lose. As a TV station it was aimed at the 16-34 age bracket; although its average audience was often toward the higher end of the scale, there's little doubt that its programming was geared toward - and watched by - late-teens and 20-somethings rather than the 50-somethings and above who make up the vast majority of television audiences.
Whilst some of that programming does continue online, by removing a TV channel as home for it, the BBC has risked forfeiting younger generations of viewers, alienating them with little or no accessible TV programming of their own, and given other commercial broadcasters a prime opportunity to poach their allegiance. Bluntly, it is not playing its part in creating the television viewers of the future.
So will the corporation's gamble pay off? There are clearly great risks on the path the BBC has chosen to follow, but if it proves successful it could reap rewards. Watch this (web) space.