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Orange Emerges As Potential Kangaroo Buyer

Kangaroo, the doomed video on demand project pioneered by ITV, Channel 4 and BBC, could be purchased outright by none other than mobile service provider Orange.

According to the Guardian newspaper, the partners in the failed joint venture have invested an estimated £20 million behind the technology which is now said to be worth only a fraction of that.

The Competition Commission blocked the project back in February over fears that it might hamper the development of broadband TV in the UK market - something that Kangaroo backers vehemently denied.

France Telecom, rather than Orange, is interested in purchasing the assets of Kangaroo. The parent company of Orange is present in a number of countries where the technology could be useful as it looks to deploy triple play services.

Orange TV has already been launched in Europe, the Middle East and as far as in Africa. A France Telecom spokesperson has confirmed that they are examining the project but that, at this stage, FT wouldn't confirm whether anything had been decided.

The telecommunications giant has refrained from introducing a TV service in the UK due to adverse economic conditions although it has been mulling plans to do so as early as June 2006.

Twitter @itproportal.

Our Comments

Whatever Orange does, it is unlikely to get the company to launch a TV service in the UK because of the level of competition on the market. Hulu is expected to launch a video on demand service soon in the UK while Virgin and Sky already dominate the paid-for VoD market here. BT Vision and Tiscali have tried to break the stranglehold of the two companies without much success.

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Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.