BBC will put all of its channels online

Wants to build on success of iPlayer

LONDON -- The BBC is readying plans to put all its television channels online, but only for users in the U.K., according to its latest proclamation on program policy for the next two years.

The old lady of broadcasting has yet to set a date to put the corporation's flagship channels BBC1 and BBC 2 or its children's channel CBeebies and CBBC online. But the guidelines are for this year and next, so it is likely the radical move will happen before the year is out.

The pubcaster's Web site, bbc.co.uk, is one of the U.K.'s premier destinations for webcrawlers, and the broadcaster's seven-day catch-up service, iPlayer, launched last year, has caused download capacity overdemand here.

"Building on the success of the iPlayer, we want to develop bbc.co.uk to include a broad range of the BBC's broadcast content as well as new and interactive forms of media that enable audiences to interact with and contribute to the Web site," BBC director-general Mark Thompson said.

Putting live streams of BBC1 and BBC 2 on the Web is already causing debate over how to get audiences that watch only online to pay the TV license fee that all television users must legally pay for.
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