Will Virgin Media Join Project Canvas After BBC Trust Approval?

The BBC Trust was the only potential body capable of stopping Project Canvas in its track and it gave its approval to the scheme which aims to build an open internet-connected TV platform.

Back in May 2010, the Office of Fair Trade gave its approval to the successor of the now-defunct Project Kangaroo which had a similar goal albeit in a slightly different format.

We've already seen that Virgin Media has given hints a few days ago about a potential partnership with Project Canvas after several months of opposition.

The change in stance by Virgin Media is explained by the fact that the company wants to focus more on delivering content rather than creating it. This is why earlier this month, it sold VMtv, which comprises LIVING, LIVINGit, Challenge, Challenge Jackpot, Bravo, Bravo 2 and Virgin1, to archrival BSkyB for £160 million.

In addition, the BBC Trust has imposed on the BBC the condition that it must allow other broadcasters and content providers to access the platform and that the technical specifications of the platform must be published before the second half of July.

The other major player on the market, Sky, has already said that it would fight Project Canvas, which brings together some of its partners (BBC, C4, Five, ITV) and competitors like BT, Arqiva, and Talk Talk.

It has also launched earlier this month, a new on demand platform called Anytime Plus, one which we consider to be a potential Canvas competitor. Interestingly, Sky has already confirmed that it has started to talked to terrestrial channels.