News Burst: BBC hits back at criticism over Web plans

Summary:BBC plans to fund international site with ads not licence fee money

The BBC denied Wednesday that its planned international news site will be paid for with licence fee money.

The site will be funded by advertisements, the BBC confirmed today. The BBC claims it was asked by government to provide the new site, which will not be accessible by UK users, as an online extension of its World Service. Commercial broadcasters have criticised the BBC for blurring the edges between its public service and commercial arms.

According to the BBC, UK users will not be able to access the international site -- which is likely to be called BBCNews.com -- and wil instead be redirected to the advert-free UK site. It is anticipated both will contain the same news content. "UK users won't be able to log on to the international site and vice versa," says a BBC spokesman. "The technology to do this is still being explored."

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