BBC Trust blocks plan to let rivals upload to iPlayer

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The BBC's plans to allow rival broadcasters to show programmes online through its iPlayer media player were dashed yesterday, after the BBC Trust said the move was "too complicated".

The plan, dubbed Open iPlayer, aimed to allow the BBC to form an "online federation" with Channel 4, ITV and Five. Diane Coyle, a BBC trustee and chairman of the trust's strategic approvals committee, said it believed access to its technology could be useful to rival broadcasters channels but added: "The plans in their proposed form, combining both commercial and public service elements, were too complicated."

The trust was not convinced the deal offered enough potential value to licence fee-payers. The BBC has pledged to come up with an alternative plan "that can deliver value to our partners and the public alike". It is the second blow to the BBC's online expansion plans this year, after the Competition Commission blocked Project Kangaroo.

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