Project Kangaroo finally finds a home at Arqiva


Former Eurosport UK managing director Pierre-Jean Sebert has been appointed CEO of Arqiva’s new video-on-demand service that will be built on the infrastructure of the former Project Kangaroo. The transmission company plans to use the assets to launch a new video-on-demand service to UK consumers in the coming months. Project Kangaroo was the video-on-demand (VOD) platform developed by UKVOD LLP, a joint venture set up by BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4.

The venture was blocked by the Competition Commission in February 2009, who ruled it posed too much of a risk to competition in the video-on-demand sector. However, the technology behind Project Kangaroo has now been bought by Arqiva, and it will be used to ‘provide the technical basis of a VOD platform designed for a content aggregation service’.

The platform will aim to host top-end, quality content from leading broadcasters and independent content providers with both free-to-air and pay-content propositions. New CEO Sebert lead the joint venture with NTL that was to lead to the launch of British Eurosport in 1999. He subsequently went onto be the managing director of the UK operations between 2001 and 2005 and also oversaw the launch of Eurosport News. More recently, Sebert has acted as an advisor for companies including Virgin Media, ONO, UKTV, Rainbow Media, UEFA, and Broadcast Australia.

“I’m very much looking forward to leading the launch of this new platform and to establish it as a prominent proposition in the market,” said Pierre-Jean Sebert. “It’s an important new route for quality long-form content to reach an additional audience, and complements Arqiva’s traditional role in terrestrial broadcasting. We have rapidly established ourselves operationally and have already made significant progress with our consumer proposition, both in terms of user experience and content acquisition. We will share our vision and progress in due time.”

Steve Holebrook, managing director for Terrestrial Broadcast at Arqiva, said: "We are delighted to announce Pierre-Jean's appointment. He brings a wealth of experience across the UK media industry and is ideally placed to lead the new venture. Our focus is now shifting to the business side of the venture and getting ready for the launch of this exciting service."

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