BBC Online Comes Under Fresh Attack

Here’s one thing I am worried about: if the rival commercial services keep attacking BBC’s online services in their own forums, the 800-pound gorilla may end up looking like an underdog…

Anyway, UK industry bodies including the British Internet Publishers Alliance (BIPA), Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television, and the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), plus news body ITN, made submissions to Philip Graf, the former Trinity Mirror executive appointed to head the BBC online review.

They have called on the government to make 12 key changes to the BBC’s internet operations…They say the BBC is spending “at least £75m per year plus £25m in overheads“, runs websites with no educational value such as Celebdaq and Fightbox and has “completely undermined” commercial companies’ ability to compete in the marketplace.

They also suggest that BBC should link to its commercial rivals’ services instead of trying to replicate them, and the corporation should list all of its online activities separately in its annual report and accounts.

New Media Age: These industry bodies have also criticized the KPMG report: “It underestimates the BBC’s effect by at least three to five times,” IAB said. “It fails to consider the number of Internet media businesses marginalised to the point of bankruptcy because of BBC dominance in specific market niches.”

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