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BBC Will Let Programs Be Downloaded

(Posted August 31, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

The British Broadcasting Corp. is planning a new service to let Web users download its television and radio programs up to a week after they have aired.

BBC Director General Mark Thompson, who unveiled the plans for the company's "MyBBCPlayer" at the Edinburgh International Television Festival Saturday, said he hoped the service could be active by 2006.

Under the outline he presented, Thompson said the player would let Web users download original BBC radio and television programming from its Web site for as long as seven days after it originally aired.

But complete details weren't released and any plan to make the material available for download would have to be approved by the government-owned broadcaster.

Also not disclosed was whether the BBC would charge users a fee for the downloads or how it would protect the digital rights of such programming.

Thompson said the plan is part of the BBC's efforts to expand its operations beyond traditional forms of media.

"I accept the premise that if the BBC remains nothing more than a traditional TV and radio broadcaster then we probably won't deserve or get license-fee funding beyond 2016," he said. "That is very definitely not our plan."

The dominant broadcaster in the United Kingdom, the BBC operates a pair of public television channels, a 24-hour news channel, and several digital channels, as well as national and digital radio networks.


Source: Yahoo! News

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