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BBC's Project Canvas To Be Delayed Till 2011

The Head of future media and technology at the BBC, Erik Huggers, has announced that the Project Canvas will be delayed by almost a year as it is stuck in the approval process.

The much vaunted Project Canvas is a collaboration effort between BBC, ITV, Five and BTV and is designed to provide on-demand content to Freesat and Freeview services.

Huggers said that the project was being reviewed by the BBC Trust and expressed his eagerness to get the approval as soon as possible.

The joint video-on-demand service will allow the user to view programs from a number of program makers through a set top-box which will be internet-enabled as well.

The estimated cost of Project canvas is set at £6 million over a period of 5 years. Incidentally BBC has spent almost £1 million on developing the platform for the service.

However, the project has been actively criticised by Sky Networks which claims that BBC is utilizing public money to establish a dominating presence in the video-on-demand market with the intention of uprooting its competition.

The network, in a statement, declared that BBC-driven Project Canvas should not be given a green light. The network also claimed that the membership in the venture has remained exclusive.

Meanwhile, Huggers is looking for a Christmas launch of the service if the BBC trust approves the project early.

Our Comments

Canvas could do for the internet what Freeview did to the FTA segment. Predictably, Mr Murdoch is doubly concerned because it might do more harm than good if Canvas manages to launch earlier than predicted. There's also the fact that once it is launched, it will have a head start that Sky won't be able to catch up easily.

Related Links

BSkyB in fresh attack on BBC over Project Canvas

(Guardian UK)

BBC: Trust delays could push Canvas into 2011

(Tech Radar)

Canvas Timeline: Verdict Expected By Year’s End

(Paid Content UK)

Sky launches fresh attack on Canvas

(Tech Watch)

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 ITProPortal.com 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.