BBC Online stalls Internet launch

BBC Online is to delay the introduction of its branded Internet access service, but push ahead with the staggered roll out of paid-for online content from February 24.

The joint venture with leading IT company ICL, originally announced last September, was scheduled to launch this spring.

It aims to offer both original BBC-derived content and full Internet access to consumers to “position the BBC as one of the UK’s leading online service providers”.

Under the deal, ICL is funding the development and marketing of the service, while no BBC Worldwide money is being committed.

But despite tests by the two partners of potential revenue-generating areas, including online shopping for BBC merchandising, it is now understood that the launch of the BBC-branded full Internet access service will not occur until the autumn.

The BBC is, however, pushing ahead a low-key “soft launch” for elements of BBC-branded content, being developed at BBC Television Centre. This content will be made available to both BBC Online subscribers and other Internet users.

Head of BBC Online marketing Simon Johnson says: “We will be launching a Fantasy Formula One interactive game from February 24 on the TopGear site, which will be a pay game, costing 10 per entry. There will be a sequence of other launches of BBC-designed content in the run-up to autumn.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here