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BBC.com to be funded by advertising?

Auntie standing on her own two feet?
Written by Will Sturgeon, Contributor

Auntie standing on her own two feet?

The BBC has admitted it is to look at funding a website for non-UK surfers with online advertising.

A spokesman for the corporation told silicon.com that media reports claiming the BBC is considering the use of advertising to fund bbc.com, pencilled in for a spring 2007 launch, are "broadly accurate".

The reports appeared first in The Guardian which carried an interview with David Moody, director of strategy at the BBC.

Moody said the corporation must consider the validity of making money from overseas users of the BBC site.

Moody told The Guardian: "What we are investigating is: should the BBC make money from these people and return it back to licence fee payers to invest in programmes?"

Currently the bbc.co.uk website attracts around one billion page impressions every month from outside the UK, the BBC says.

It is thought the new website will not carry some of the web's more unwelcome ad formats such as pop-ups or rich media overlays - the animated ads which crawl across pages, often obscuring content.

However, it is unlikely this announcement will pass without the usual fierce opposition from websites operating wholly in the commercial space.

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