The BBC is set to close five online portals following a report commissioned by the Department of Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS).
The corporation will close Fantasy Football, Pure Soap, its central What's On events listings and its Surfing and Games portals as a result of applying a 'public value test' to its bbc.co.uk website.
Some sites, such as Films, have been told to become more distinctive from commercial rivals while others, like the Lifestyle portal, have been relaunched with slimmer areas of content.
BBC Online, which has a budget of approximately £70m a year, has also pledged to increase levels of co-operation and dialogue between its regional listings service and local news providers.
The author of the DCMS report, Philip Graf, praised the BBC for the high quality, creativity, innovation and impressive technical ability of its online services. But he suggested that the corporation work more with external suppliers and concentrate more on its public service remit.
Culture secretary Tessa Jowell has given the BBC just under four months to redefine the remit for its online services along public service lines, and remove overlapping with commercial alternatives.
Commercial operators have long claimed that the BBC's online presence has deterred investment in private ventures. Graf expressed some sympathy for the claim, but would not say whether or not it had been proven.
The BBC, which last week published its own manifesto, has welcomed the DCMS report, although it is not expected to make a formal response until the autumn.
"The [DCMS] report has made a lot of very good points in its review and I hope the changes we've already outlined shows we're taking this seriously," said Ashley Highfield, director of new media technology at the BBC.
Highfield said that the closures would not mean job losses "in the short term", but that it was too early to tell whether jobs would be affected in the long term. He added that he wanted staff to move to other projects in future.
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