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BBC to charge for iPlayer use?

Corporation considering the 'pay-per-view' system

The BBC is considering charging web users to watch TV programmes using its iPlayer catch-up TV service. Update: BBC: no plans to charge for iPlayer.

The BBC iPlayer is currently free and offers UK web access to TV and radio shows that have previously been broadcast on its channels. However, one of a number of ideas currently being mulled over by the corporation includes the introduction of a 'pay-per-view' system.

The BBC told The Guardian it was not planning to create a "two-tier" licence fee system, and was instead simply "a micropayment to cover costs including payments that would have to be made to programme makers for the rights".

"We never stop future-gazing at the BBC and there are always a number of new ideas under discussion. Any such ideas would need to be developed in conjunction with the industry and with rights-holders and they would certainly not lead to a two-tier licence fee," the BBC added.

ITV has already revealed plans to charge web users to access bespoke content that will only be made available through its ITV Player online TV service.

In July last year, the broadcaster said it will begin a trial of paid-for internet-only shows or 'webisodes' of its popular shows such as Coronation Street and The Only Way is Essex at the start of this year.

However, it confirmed shows that have already been broadcast on TV will remain free to watch via the online catch-up TV service. Although ITV did not say how much the 'webisodes' will cost or whether they'll be subject to a one-off fee or a monthly subscription.

Have your say in our poll: Should the BBC charge for iPlayer use?

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