U.K. Newspapers to BBC: Don’t Bigfoot Us on iPhone Apps

By: E&P Staff

British newspaper publishers are scrambling to block the BBC from launching a suite of applications for the iPhone and other smartphones that would include live broadcasts of this summer’s World Cup matches.

The Newspaper Publishers Association (NPA) said if the BBC came into the market with smartphone apps it would “distort” the marketplace by overwhelming for-profit news organizations that are just getting started in the apps business.

“Not for the first time, the BBC is preparing to muscle into a nascent market and trample over the aspirations of commercial news providers,” the NPA’s director, David Newell, said in a statement.

He said BBC’s entry into iPhone apps “would throw into serious doubt the commercial sector’s ability to make a return on its investment, and therefore its ability to support quality journalism.”

The NPA argues that the market for iPhone news apps “is a unique and narrow commercial space, which means that the potential for market distortion by the BBC is much greater.”

The Beeb has portrayed the line of general and sports news apps, which were announced Wednesday, as nothing more than an extension of its online news service.

The NPA said it will take its concerns to the government Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and Parliament select committee on the media.

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