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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.

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.