TECHKNOW: Lessons from Web Alley

TECHKNOW: Lessons from Web Alley - LICENSED TO KILL COMPETITION - Just what is the BBC for? The corporation, already the world's largest public service broadcaster, is increasingly an online giant, using its name and considerable resources to provide web

by RICHARD ELLIS, chief executive of onefootball.com

LICENSED TO KILL COMPETITION - Just what is the BBC for? The corporation, already the world's largest public service broadcaster, is increasingly an online giant, using its name and considerable resources to provide web services that are the envy of us who struggle along without the benefit of a large bucket of taxpayers' money to bail us out. I like bbc.co.uk - it provides a good news, sport and entertainment service. But do I want to be paying for it out of my licence fee? Not a bit.

It's not jealousy or sour grapes. It's simply that the BBC isn't competing on a level playing field. Certain bits of its empire are deemed to be a public service, others are deemed to be (quasi) commercial, but protected by licence-fee billions. The government allegedly wants to be a champion of the internet and of enterprise and competitiveness. It could make a start by inspecting its own house and ensuring that the BBC does what it was set up to do.

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