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BBC mulls sponsorship plan

Co. hopes to raise money for events

LONDON — The BBC is considering setting up a department to oversee and promote corporate sponsorship for some of its programming.

The idea, believed to have the support of BBC director general Greg Dyke, is to seek extra cash from the business community for events that are short of funds, such as the Young Musician of the Year competition.

System would replace the current one, in which companies back BBC-covered events on an ad hoc basis.

Sponsorship is a sensitive issue to the BBC, which does not carry advertising. A spokesman said the corporation would remain within the current rules in allowing sponsors only two verbal plugs and one visual credit in a program.

That said, the BBC has come under scrutiny for receiving as much as £900,000 ($1.35 million) from British Telecom for the broadcast of the BT Challenge yacht race in 1998.

The BBC said it would investigate if it is found that the arrangement with BT breached any guidelines.

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