BBC Three is to be closed as a broadcast channel and moved online under proposals confirmed by the BBC Trust last March, but the two production companies are now looking to keep it on TV.
In a statement, Avalon and Hat Trick pledged to retain BBC Three's presence on its current digital platforms and also vowed to increase its programme budget from £81m to £100m per year.
BBC head of press Sam Hodges, however, has taken to Twitter to refute claims that BBC Three is to be sold by the corporation: "Hate to kill a good PR stunt but BBC Three isn't for sale".
That stance was backed by BBC Three controller Damian Kavanagh in a blog post, stating: "BBC Three is not closing and BBC Three is not for sale.
"We’d be kidding ourselves if we ignored the fact the BBC Three audience is online, and increasingly so. They just are. This proposal meets how young people live their lives."
A consultation process has been launched by the BBC Trust, which will let you have your say on the future of BBC Three – together with other proposals for the corporation's output.