Crikey editor Misha Ketchell writes:

Is the ABC board set to introduce advertising by stealth?

According
to rumours buzzing around the ABC this morning, the ABC board will next
week be asked to approve a proposal that would involve licensing the
video streaming of ABC content to a third party website for a fee based
on the advertising revenue attracted by the site.

The move could
be a bonanza for the cash-strapped national broadcaster and could open
the door to its vast archive of valuable intellectual property to raise
money in a similar manner to the BBC. According to sources, there’s
nothing in the ABC Act (1983) that would prevent the ABC from deriving
revenue indirectly from advertising in this way.

Entertainment shows like Mother and Son and The Late Show, or dramas like Sea Change,
could attract significant internet traffic and advertising revenue if
offered online as video streaming – although it’s unclear if the ABC
would own the copyright in all the above cited examples.

An ABC spokeswoman was unable to comment in time for our deadline, but we’ll follow up tomorrow.