Online advertising could net BBC £105m

And a hell of a headache

The BBC is considering supplementing its income with advertising, this time on the international version of its website.

The corporation estimates that it could earn between £48m and £105m annually in advertising revenues, depending on how aggressively the advertising were to be placed.

BBC executives must be rubbing their hands together at the prospect of so much extra income. However, they will have to balance the advertising revenue against the huge protests its UK rivals will undoubtedly make, and against internal opposition.

Historically, even the vaguest sign that the BBC is considering expanding its revenue stream has sparked massive opposition from its commercial rivals. They have already argued that the BBC news site, by virtue of the support it gets from the BBC's massive newsgathering organisation, has an unfair advantage.

To allow it to draw additional revenue from advertising would probably make the chief executives at various alternative commercial news operations pass out from the sense of injustice.

In addition, the BBC says it is aware that its own staff have concerns about the proposals, but adds that this will be taken into account when deciding how to proceed.

The BBC revenues from license fees are approximately £3bn, annually. ®

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