The BBC will bring live football to Apple's iPhone and iPod touch users in time for this summer's FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Scheduled to take place between 11 June and 11 July 2010, the event will be played across thirteen venues, including stadiums in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.

The BBC made the announcement during a keynote speech at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona earlier this week suggesting the application could be available by May.

Football fans will be able to access live match video, whenever it's being broadcast on TV by the BBC, and on-demand clips of every goal scored in the tournament via the free iPhone and iPod touch application.

BBC Radio 5 Live, live radio commentaries and live text commentaries from BBC presenters and blogs will also be available as part of the new application. Radio 5 Live listeners will be able to participate in debates via email and SMS.

During the year, more content will be added according to the BBC, subject to rights availability, including major sports, such as the Formula 1 season and the 2010/2011 English football season. Users will be able to customise settings to highlight favourite teams.

While both the UK and global applications will be available free of charge, the global version will be released separately by BBC Worldwide and, in line with other international BBC Worldwide services, will feature advertising.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup, the first on African soil, has England in Group C alongside the USA, Algeria and Slovenia.

BBC New app

The BBC also announced plans for a dedicated BBC News application for iPhone and iPod touch available as early as April.

The news application will focus on providing quick access to the BBC's existing journalistic content, which will be repurposed for the devices. The latest breaking news, features and analysis, reports from BBC correspondents around the world and a wide range of live and on-demand audio and video content will all be available.

Initially available for Apple's devices, versions for BlackBerry and Google Android smartphones will be launched later in the year. Each will allow users the ability to create a personal news experience along with the oppertunity to create user-generated content, and send comments and pictures direct to the BBC newsroom.

"It's been 12 years since the launch of BBC Online, but as media converges and technology accelerates, licence fee payers are increasingly using sophisticated handheld devices to access information," BBC Director of Future Media & Technology Erik Huggers told the conference. "They tell us that they want to access the digital services that they have paid for at a time and place that suits them."

"Today's announcement means that we are catching up with our audiences, and the same content that we broadcast on television and make available online can now be better enjoyed on the move. We are putting technology to work to create greater public value."

The BBC plans to make further BBC iPlayer applications available on a wide range of smartphones offering enhanced features - above and beyond the web-based variants according to the corporation. These will be available to UK audiences only due to copyright issues.

The BBC has used images of iPhones and iPods in promotional material before but this week's announcement was the first sign of dedicated applications streaming content, although some BBC iPlayer catch-up TV content is already available to Apple users via Safari.