BBC seeks to compete with iTunes

March 6, 2007 at 5:06 PM
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LONDON, March 6 (UPI) -- Britain's BBC Worldwide announced plans to compete with the music and video download service iTunes, developed by U.S. company Apple.

The commercial arm of the BBC said its iPlayer will give British Web surfers a seven-day online opportunity to view BBC shows they may have missed, the Telegraph said Tuesday.

The iPlayer is being reviewed by the BBC Trust, which regulates new BBC services. Late spring would be the earliest the panel said it would give its approval, which may impose conditions to blunt any impact it may have on other businesses, such as DVD rentals. BBC Worldwide's version would mix advertiser-funded content and pay-for downloads.

John Smith, BBC Worldwide's chief executive, said he wants to use the iPlayer software to stream other broadcasters' content, comparing its potential to Freeview and British Sky Broadcasting's digital satellite platform.

BBC Worldwide last week announced a commercial deal with video-sharing Web site YouTube.

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