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BBC Plans to Allow Program Downloads

LONDON (AP) _ The British Broadcasting Corp. is planning to let Web users download its television and radio programs up to a week after they have aired.

BBC Director General Mark Thompson said he hoped the ``MyBBCPlayer'' service could be active by 2006.

Complete details weren't released, and Thompson did not say whether the BBC would charge users a fee for the downloads or how it would prevent piracy and circulation beyond the week.

The plan is part of the BBC's efforts to move beyond traditional forms of media.

``I accept the premise that if the BBC remains nothing more than a traditional TV and radio broadcaster then we probably won't deserve or get license-fee funding beyond 2016,'' Thompson said at Edinburgh International Television Festival. ``That is very definitely not our plan.''
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