Ofcom eyes broadband content channel

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LONDON -- Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards hinted Thursday that he will press ahead with plans to create a £350 million ($690 million) a year "public service publisher" channel that will generate online and broadband public service content.

Speaking in an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Richards said the PSP will compete with the BBC and Channel 4 to create branded broadband content and will provide a rival to such outlets as MySpace and Google Video.

"The kernel of the idea, I'm absolutely increasingly convinced we were right about," he told the Guardian. "Look at the speed of change. Where was MySpace when we did that? Where was Google Video?"

The idea of a PSP was originally floated in 2004, when it was intended to back public service television production.

Richards did not give any details about how the PSP will be financed, or indicate whether it will take license fee money from the BBC, something sure to provoke controversy.

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