BBC under fire over mobile app plans

The BBC Trust has been urged to block the development of mobile apps for the BBC’s news and sport content, with rivals claiming they will “distort” the market.

BBC under fire over mobile app plans

Earlier in the week, the BBC announced that it was developing apps for smartphones including Android and the iPhone which would allow users to access live sport and video broadcasts.

However, the plans have been attacked by the Newspaper Publishers Association (NPA), which claims the plans threaten the fledgling efforts of commercial news services.

“Not for the first time, the BBC is preparing to muscle into a nascent market and trample over the aspirations of commercial news providers,” says David Newell, director of the NPA.

Not for the first time, the BBC is preparing to muscle into a nascent market and trample over the aspirations of commercial news providers

“It is extremely disappointing that the corporation plans to launch services that would throw into serious doubt the commercial sector’s ability to make a return on its investment, and therefore its ability to support quality journalism,” he adds.

Newell also took issue with the BBC’s claim that the creation of apps was simply an extension of its current online strategy. “This is a very different and particular case. The market for iPhone news apps is a unique and narrow commercial space, which means that the potential for market distortion by the BBC is much greater.”

Speaking to PC Pro, a BBC spokesperson claimed the creation of the apps “fell within the terms of the BBC service licence which explicitly allows the BBC to repurpose online content for mobile devices”.

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