Arqiva, a broadcast and transmission firm, seems all set to enter into the video-on-demand domains with a new deal to snap up the defunct broadband TV project Kangaroo, a technology developed for the planned collaborative venture between BBC Worldwide, ITV, and Channel 4.
The company is reportedly into final stages of discussions with the project Kangaroo partner broadcasters, including ITV, Channel 4 and BBC Worldwide, to acquire the technology, which was banned by the Competition Commission earlier this year.
However, Orange's parent company - France Telecom - was also in the race to buy the redundant technology, but decided to back off in May 2009, as it no longer considered the move would be a lucrative one for the firm.
If the deal goes on to materialise, the new video catch-up service would be available in the upcoming months, and it would include “both free-to-air and pay content propositions”.
Steve Holebrook, managing director for Arqiva’s Terrestrial Broadcast, expressed the significance of the move by saying, “We believe that online video-on-demand is an exciting and complementary development, and a natural extension to our traditional broadcast business”.
However, the proposition of selling the redundant technology to a non-competitive firm makes the perfect sense for the project Kangaroo partner broadcasters, as it would help them recoup their investment in the technology.
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The actual details of the deal - including the price paid - were not disclosed. Interestingly the company is owned by a "consortium of investors" and major customers include ITV, Channel 4, Five, BBC, BSkyB, the five UK Mobile operators and a few more prestigious customers.
(Broadband TV News)