I'm not sure what I'm more surprised by, the earlier (than usual) Spring airdate or the fact that we know about it so "early."
I've seen the suggestion today that this announcement -- a full two months in advance of airing -- is to settle a fandom riled up by yesterday's revelations from Toy Fair. However, I suspect the announcement has more to do with the needs of Doctor Who
‘s foreign broadcasters than it does with fan discontent.
The ITV gamesmanship that was the moving target of the autumn premiere date made it difficult for broadcasters like BBC America and Space to advertise the show in anything more than a vague way. They would have preferred bus billboards and print ads with an actual date than the nebulous “Fall” that they had to use as the BBC broadcast date was finalized until after the marketing materials had to go to press.
After BBC America landed Doctor Who
on the cover of TV Guide, the same moving target gamesmanship for the spring isn’t something they would be anxious to repeat.