After conducting extra research into the new channel, including talks with the BBC, the ITC says it has now refined its opinion on the new channel and that its impact on commercial rivals would be 'manageable'.
It concluded that if the BBC Choice replacement sticks to 90 per cent UK origination as stated in its proposal, it is likely to reach a market share of 2 per cent after two to three years which would result in a impact of around £7m annually on its rivals' advertising revenues.
Jowell had earlier expressed concerns that the channel would have too much of an impact on commercial rivals such as Sky 1 and E4, particularly in the current economic climate.
She is now expected to approve the long delayed channel in the next few weeks, after months of indecision.
The BBC has welcomed the ITC's assessment, particularly as it is closer to its original estimate that BBC 3 would cost its rivals around £4m. The ITC had originally said it would be nearer £25m.
?We trust that [the report] will prove useful to the secretary of state [and] hope that she will soon be able to give us consent to launch the new channel,' it said in a statement.