Channel 5 quits project canvas

Channel Five has pulled out of Project Canvas, deciding it can't afford to spend money on the project.

The outfit is already up for sale as owner RTL attempts to offload the least-watched UK terrestrial broadcaster

The scheme to build a set-top box to offer Internet content on the telly is costing its investors £16 million. Five's piece of teh pie is expected to be tame up by its erstwhile partners, the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4 and TalkTalk.

The BBC Trust approved Project Canvas last month saying it offered licence fee payers "significant public value".

In a statement director of strategy at Five, Charles Constable, said the channel would "continue to support the objectives of Project Canvas".

"Despite withdrawing our interest in the venture we believe it will be a critical part of our strategy for reaching consumers in the future," he said.

Project Canvas director Richard Halton said 5 offered encouragement even if the company baulked at opening up their coffers. "They share our goal of bringing the benefits of Internet-connected TV to all," he said."We look forward to working with them as a content provider to the platform in the future."