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BT, ITV and BBC partner on open broadband TV

12 декабря 2008

The broadcasters and the telco will work together to develop open standards-based platforms, paving the way for a new generation of digital television receivers connected to the Internet.

It also means that popular online services such as BBC's iPlayer will be made available to other broadcasters and ISPs and then brought from the computer screen to the TV.

"Television and broadband are a compelling combination," said Ian Livingston, CEO of BT.

"Together they can offer live TV along with an unrivalled choice of on-demand content and interactive services.
It will mean that you can watch what you want whenever you want on your television," he said.

"Audiences tell us that they want more services through their television set," commented Mark Thompson, Director-General of the BBC.

He said that the BBC will not only be collaborating with other broadcasters and Internet service providers, but also device manufacturers.

Meanwhile rival public broadcaster Channel 4 criticised the proposals, claiming that it sees no "tangible financial benefit."

"We don't share their view that this particular proposal could deliver an immediate and sizeable financial upside," said Andrew Duncan, CEO of Channel
4, in a statement.

"Based on our experience of selling advertising around on-demand viewing, we've given the BBC clear feedback that their assumptions about the commercial benefits of a link with the iPlayer are inaccurate," he said.

This latest partnership follows on from Project Kangaroo, a proposed video-on-demand service available via the Internet from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, that was announced in November 2007.

Hopes of launching that collaborative offering were dashed by
U.K. antitrust authorities earlier in December, which ruled that the venture would restrict competition in the supply of VoD services.

Still, the partnership announced Thursday is pitched at developing similar platforms that are open to rival content providers from the TV sector as well as the Web.

"This proposal will bring catch-up TV from the PC to the TV set in your living room, and all for free," said Michael Grade, executive chairman of ITV.

Источник: Total Telecom

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