Project Canvas gets green light from BBC Trust

28/06/2010

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.

28/06/2010

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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