Newspaper group call to block BBC iPhone apps

The BBC Trust has been urged to block the corporation’s plans to launch phone apps for its news and sport content. The Newspaper Publishers Association (NPA) said that the corporation would “damage the nascent market” for apps. The group said that it would also raise the issues with the the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and MPs on the Media Select Committee. The BBC has said it plans to launch its first news app on the iPhone in April, followed by one for its sport content. It is also planning to develop more apps for its popular on-demand video iPlayer. Several newspapers already offer iPhone apps, including the Independent and the Daily Telegraph – which are free – and the Guardian – which costs GBP 2.39. A spokesperson for the BBC said that its online service licence, granted by the BBC Trust, was “quite explicit in allowing the BBC to repurpose its online content for consumption on mobile devices”. The BBC news app, announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, will offer content from the BBC News website including written stories, correspondent blogs and video. A sports app will be released before the World Cup, which starts in June, and will combine content from the BBC Sport website and 5 Live radio. It will allow football fans to watch World Cup matches live on their phone. The corporation said that it would initially focus on building applications for the iPhone but will then focus on developing similar software for Google’s Android operating system and RIM (Blackberry).


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