BBC Worldwide, the broadcaster’s commercial arm, is apparently looking for an acquisition to compete with Rupert Murdoch’s Myspace, according to the Mail on Sunday.

The paper says the BBC has £350m to spend on acquisitions and wants to target the youth market through a social networking site.

It quotes a ‘senior BBC source’ saying: “These sites are definitely of interest to us. They are growing at a fantastic rate.

They allow users to produce their own content and, above all, they are incredibly attractive to younger people, mostly between the ages of 13 and 24, with whom broadcasters have the biggest problems. If you lose them at 12 or 13, getting them back at 25 is not easy.

Well, that’s not actually saying that the BBC wants to make such an acquisition, or risk the wrath of youth sites for stepping onto their turf.

For £350m, it’s also not clear what it could buy in that space, considering the biggest ventures such as Bebo and Youtube would fetch well over US$1 billion.

But Murdoch’s reaction, if it did happen, would definitely be worth watching.