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Orange Moots Buyout of Failed IPTV Venture Project Kangaroo

Posted: 06th Apr, 2009 By: MarkJ
Project Kangaroo (UKVOD), the failed broadband Internet TV (IPTV) and Video-on-Demand (VOD) service venture between the BBC, ITV and Channel4, could be picked up by Orange . Project Kangaroo was recently abandoned after the Competition Commission (CC) blocked it because none of the remedies proposed would have removed the threat to competition in the VOD market (original news).

The Guardian now reports that Orange could be gearing up to buy at least part of Project Kangaroo, specifically its technology. Broadcasters are believed to have invested around £20m in the system, which was thought to be at an advanced stage of development. Such a service might come in handy for Orange UK's long held, if somewhat lofty, IPTV ambitions.

"We are examining this company and we see of course that it could be interesting," said a spokesman for Orange's parent company, France Telecom. "Nothing has been decided but we can confirm we are examining it. On Orange TV we are very cautious about what we are saying in the UK but it [Kangaroo] could help us in developing more quickly Orange TV projects in France."

Orange UK began a "rethink" (halt) of its IPTV plans late last year (here), largely due to the difficult economic climate and market competition. To date the operators plans for a full launch of a digital TV service in the UK remain on hold. The service has seen far more success in France, where IPTV is slowly but surely taking off, thanks in part to newer and faster fibre optic broadband infrastructure.
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