A spokesman for the BBC has denied stories that the broadcaster plans to charge for use of its BBC iPlayer service.
News broke on Monday that the BBC was considering initiating a micro-payments model to finance its long-term challenge of bringing its vast archive of films and programmes - many currently gathering dust in storage - to the fingertips of its millions of iPlayer users. However the BBC now wants to make it clear that plans to charge for iPlayer as it is now are not part of its future intentions.
Currently, there is a free (to Licence Fee payers) iPlayer catch-up service that lets people view aired-on-TV content for up to seven-days. It is understood if the BBC were to start making its aforementioned dust-gathering archive available online, there wouldn't be enough money from the current Licence Fee to pay for the implementation of it all. Therefore one of the "future-gazing" new ideas to fund the implementation - of bringing archived content to the public - is introduce 'micro-payments' via the iPlayer; while keeping what the iPlayer currently offers free.
The current official statement from the beeb is "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"
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