'BBC jeopardising news market by providing free news on internet'

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London, Aug. 29 (ANI): News Corporation's Chairman James Mudroch has blamed BBC for trying to "throttle the news market" by providing free news on the Internet.

The Sun quoted Murdoch, as saying that the licence fee-funded giant was part of a "land grab" by the British Government.

Delivering the 2009 MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, he warned that BBC, which charges every television owner 139.50 pounds, was making a bid for a share of the competitive internet business using taxpayers' cash.

Murdoch added: "Dumping free, state-sponsored news on the market makes it incredibly difficult for journalism to flourish on the internet.

"Yet it is essential for the future of independent digital journalism that a fair price can be charged for news to people who value it."

Its growth was a serious threat to "plurality and independence of news provision," the media chief noted.

"The BBC threatened significant damage to important spheres of human enterprise, investment in professional journalism and the growth of the creative industries," the paper quoted him, as saying.

Murdoch also blasted governing body the BBC Trust, calling it an "unaccountable and abysmal" institution, just like Channel 4 and television watchdog Ofcom.

In public service broadcasting, customers were being ignored, shut out and left in need of protection, he added. (ANI)

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