BBC, ITV and BT Partner On Freeview-Over-IP Platform

Plans to make Kangaroo live might be put on hold for the time being but it did not prevent the BBC and ITV to forge a partnership with Telecom company BT to bring Broadband to the TV as they seek to promote a "common industry approach" to on demand TV.

The platform is opened to public service broadcasters, device developers and other ISPs and will look into ways to standardise the "environment for broadband connected digital television receivers".

The plans - which are yet to be approved by the BBC board - open the way for broadband-connected set top boxes which, like BT's own BT Vision, will connect directly to the main television set in the lounge.

One has to wonder whether the ruling of the Competition Commission last week against Kangaroo - the Joint Venture between BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4 - did not quicken today's announcement.

Similarly, it is likely that the current economic conditions have forced the various partners to look at a common approach to online content on demand. Having separate, competing platforms can only mean low penetration and higher operating costs.

Most of the technology will almost certainly be provided by BBC; the iPlayer is by far the most prevalent on demand ecosystem on the market.

The corporation has more experience than anyone in the country about how to manage and scale content distribution, especially in the wake of the ISPs complaints over the iPlayer's load on their networks.

Commenting on the project, BBC director-general Mark Thompson said: "We are building on a history of collaborating with and supporting the industry in research and development which includes NICAM stereo, Teletext and Freeview."