Project Canvas gets green light from BBC Trust


Project Canvas, the online TV project involving BBC, ITV, BT, Five, Channel 4 and TalkTalk given approval from the BBC Trust, providing the project sticks to certain agreements. The news follows the go-ahead by the Office of Fair Trading last month.

Concerning a partnership between BBC, ITV, BT, Five, Channel 4 and TalkTalk the BBC Trust gave its approval after extensive consultation. It will now review the BBC's involvement in Project Canvas twelve months after it's launched to consumers.


The BBC Trust said it was happy with the progress of the project so far and would back up the project as long as the following conditions were met:

- Viewers must be able to watch BBC programmes without a subscription

- The BBC must report on whether accessibility features, such as audio description, have been incorporated in the system.

- The Trust will review the signposting of content and parental controls at at a later date.

- Technical specifications must be published within 20 working days of the Trust's approval, to allow broadcasters and set-top box manufacturers to adapt to the Canvas standard.

- The final core specifications must be published no later than eight months before set-top boxes are launched.

- Other broadcasters and content providers must have access to the platform.

- A Trust review, 12 months after its launch, will assess the effects Canvas has on the partner's incentives to syndicate their content to other platforms.

- The BBC will need further approval if costs exceed those projected by more than 20% in any one year.

In response, the partners in Project Canvas said they welcomed BBC Trust approval.

Speaking on the future of the internet television service, project director Richard Halton commented: "Project Canvas will safeguard the future of the UK's free-to-air TV platforms and allow new business models to thrive through an open, internet-connect, TV platform. This brings the benefits of next-generation TV to all consumers, including those who choose not to subscribe to pay-TV. We look forward to rising to that challenge."

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