The BBC Trust is to launch a wide-ranging investigation into the corporation’s local online video plans later this month.
The public value test, which the trust said would take eight months, will look into what impact the move will have on commercial rivals, including regional newspapers.
The BBC is looking to create a network of local online news services across 60 regions, with each site providing up to 10 daily video packages. The cost of the proposed roll-out is expected to be around £23m a year.
Its plans have proved controversial, with the regional newspaper industry voicing concerns that the project will smother their own online operations and lead to unfair competition.
The BBC Trust probe will begin on Tuesday 24 June with a four-week consultation in which interested parties are encouraged to submit their views on the proposals.
The trust said it expected to publish its final decision by 25 February 2009.