Sky Blasts BBC Over Use Of Licence Money For Project Canvas

BSkyB has lambasted the BBC for using taxpayer’s money to invest into Project Canvas, a proposed joint venture involving some media heavyweights, such as the BBC, BT, ITV, and Five aimed at distributing content online.

Dubbed as a successor to Freeview, Project Canvas intends to bring web-based content and services, like iPlayer, to the television, and digital set-top boxes for the same are expected to be debuted as early as Christmas next year.

BSkyB, in its submission to the BBC Trust, claimed that the proposed project sparks the issue of state aid and places a high-level control over the technology to the free-to-air broadcasters.

However, the broadcaster isn’t reportedly complaining about the use of the internet in delivering programming to television sets through set-top boxes, but it claimed that the move would “stifle innovation” in the marketplace.

The company asserted that the BBC is establishing its own platform via the license-fee funded project, instead of making any contribution to a standardised system for providing internet content to the television sets. And this will eventually hamper new developments in the market.

Citing the same, Stephen Nuttall, commercial director for Sky, said in a statement, “They shouldn't go off and do their own thing and use their unique funding to drive a coach and horses through the market development.”

Our Comments

We've heard that same argument previously when Project Kangaroo first appeared on the market. The Competition Commission ultimately forced the BBC to can the project and the same could happen if the BBC and its partners are not more careful about the way they market the project.

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