Virgin Media CEO Lambasts Project Canvas

Neil Berkett, Virgin Media's Chief Executive Officer, criticised the BBC-led Project Canvas and the poor handling of the whole issue by the BBC Trust, the governing body behind BBC, while speaking at the Cable Congress convention happening in Brussels.

The Virgin Media CEO, expressing his doubts over the competence of the BBC Trust, said that he did not believe for one second that the Trust was doing every thing it could to make BBC's activities more transparent.

He also wondered whether the BBC Trust had studied its impact on the market before giving Project Canvas a go-ahead.

Project Canvas is a BBC-led joint initiative between some of Britain's most popular cable broadcasters including Channel 4, ITV Plc, Five and telecom service providers BT and Talk Talk.

The companies aim to develop an on-demand cable TV platform for Television via internet enabled set-top boxes. Under Project Canvas, all these companies will come together to promote the platform to the consumers and content services providers, along with the developer.

However, Virgin Media, which incidentally did not get an invitation to join the consortium, has been rallying against the Project Canvas and has voiced its concerns ever since the Project got a green light from the BBC Trust.

Our Comments

Virgin Media and Sky have been the two most vocal critics of Project Canvas and for good reason. Both companies, even if they are staunch rivals to each other, have been spending millions developing their own versions of Canvas, a closed content distribution platform.

Related Links

Virgin boss 'slams BBC Trust over Canvas'

(Digital Spy)

Virgin Media chief attacks BBC over Project Canvas

(Media Week)

Virgin Media 'to criticise BBC Trust over digital TV service'

(Cable)

Berkett gives more details of TiVo plans

(Broadband TV News)