BBC Web site overhaul draws criticism

The British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) is revamping its Web site to incorporate more user-generated content such as blogs and video, features already available through the popular social networking site MySpace, an Associated Press report said.

The BBC's plans, however, drew criticism from Rupert Murdoch's news media conglomerate, which owned MySpace.

The report said James MacManus, an executive director of News Corp.'s subsidiary News International, accused the state-funded BBC on Wednesday of "blatantly commercial ambitions "&brkbar; that can only damage the development of commercial digital media."

He said the BBC, which received about $5.3 billion a year in public funding, was trying "to create a digital empire."

"This is being done with public money," he told The Associated Press. "It really is outrageous."

The BBC said it hoped its new site, part of a broad package of changes to be implemented by 2012, would attract unsigned bands that wanted to showcase their music, a key area of success for MySpace, the report said.

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