Kids game portal BBC Jam to close after competition complaints

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BBC Jam promotional image, with logo.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Kids will have to look elsewhere for educational entertainment, after the European Commission received complaints that the British Broadcasting Corporation's website was "unfair competition" to the commercial online games market.

The site, called BBC jam, will be suspended on March 20, 2007, pending review, per the BBC Trust.

BBC jam offers educationally-oriented games aimed at 5 to 16-year-olds, created with an operating budget of £150 million (US$290 million) over five years, US$85 million of which allocated to independent content producers. The government funded service is formally requesting proposals on how it should promote education and learning digitally, without being "non-compliant".

NUT Cymru, a Welsh teachers' union, is worried about the closure.

Cquote1.svg As a union we believe that education should be a public service and when you start talking about the commercial online companies the alarm bells start ringing and we think 'has this been too successful?' It's only 15 months old and it's been cut at very short notice. It makes us very worried. One wonders to what extent commercial companies are going to step into the gap that the BBC has left in terms of Welsh language provision. Cquote2.svg

Both NUT Cymru and the Welsh Assembly Goverment have questioned the extent to which commercial firms would step in and fulfill the terms of the Welsh Language Act 1993.

Sources

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