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Channel FIVE Quits UK Open Broadband TV Standard Project Canvas

Posted: 10th Jul, 2010 By: MarkJ
online broadband tv uk videoThe Project Canvas joint venture, an open standard aiming to deliver UK broadband television services directly into homes via ISPs and IPTV set-top-boxes (STB), has lost one of its key broadcasting partners - Channel FIVE. The TV channel is currently up for sale and is reviewing its digital strategy, which effectively puts its support for Canvas on hiatus.

However FIVE said that they would continue to support the objectives of Project Canvas and will provide content for it in the future. Canvas is a £16m Joint Venture (JV) between TV broadcasters and Internet Service Providers, including the BBC , ITV , BT , TalkTalk , Channel 4 , Arqiva and Channel Five. The costs of developing and marketing Canvas are likely to sky rocket during its first few years of operation.

Charles Constable, Director of Strategy at Five, said:

"We continue to support the objectives of Project Canvas and despite withdrawing our interest in the venture we believe it will be a critical part of our strategy for reaching consumers in the future."

Richard Halton, Project Canvas, Director, said:

"We’ve had excellent support from Five. They share our goal of bringing the benefits of internet-connected TV to all. We look forward to working with them as a content provider to the platform in the future."

However, despite being cleared by the OFT and BBC Trust, Canvas has received some stiff opposition from Sky Broadband (BSkyB) and most notably Virgin Media (here), which claims that working with the project has been difficult because "if [Virgin] want to use their standards we must also accept that the entire Virgin Media entertainment service be accessed by our subscribers via a Canvas-imposed interface, including the Canvas channel listing and search facility. This "shop window" to services would be entirely controlled by the joint venture partners".
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