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BBC iPhone apps on hold for now

The BBC's news and sports applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch are on hold as the news agency's overseers examine objections from competitors.

Most of the time you hear of iPhone applications being squelched, it's some developer who ran afoul of Apple's developer requirements. But in the case of apps to view BBC content, it was the BBC's own governing body that stepped in.

The BBC put its iPhone applications on hold after its overseers, the BBC Trust, decided to assess the applications in light of objections from competing media outlets, according to the BBC and others.

The BBC had planned to launch a news application this April and a sports application in time for the World Cup soccer tournament. But a newspaper group objected, appealing to the BBC Trust that the BBC's applications could hurt the market for competing commercial offerings. The BBC is funded by a license fee U.K. citizens pay on TVs; the iPhone applications would have featured advertising.

Media companies are under fierce economic pressure. Last week, two British newspapers announced plans to charge for access to Web content starting in June.