BBC led Project Canvas, an upcoming video on-demand service for Freeview channels, has announced that companies wishing to acquire a stake in Canvas have until 23rd April to 'show at least an expression of interest in taking a stake in the venture.'
Canvas, which was announced by BBC last year, has managed to obtain the green light from the BBC Trust, the outfit which controls BBC, and is readying itself for an anti-trust investigation by the Office of Fair Trading, which will determine if the project is harmful to competition or not.
As of now, the partners in Project Canvas include BBC, Channel 4, ITV plc and Five, including communication companies like BT and TalkTalk. The latest company to join the controversial brigade was Arquiva, which is the maker of advanced infrastructure and broadcast technology.
Richard Halton, the director of Project Canvas, commenting on the deadline set by the BBC, said in a statement to the Guardian that “We are keen to finalise the number of interested parties in the venture to ensure we have the most effective project structure to take us through to launch, subject to final BBC Trust conclusions.”
However, two of UK's leading television broadcast services Virgin Media and BskyB have opposed Project Canvas at every step of the way and are now working on their own separate services.