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BBC Wants Sky Canvas Partnership

Gordon Kelly


BBC Wants Sky Canvas Partnership

We're big fans of the BBC's Project Canvas distribution system and with ITV, Channel 4 and Five all aboard it seems the Beeb is also still keen to land Sky...

Speaking to the Independent, BBC director of future media and technology Erik Huggers (pictured) admitted "Sky are very happy to put Sky Player on the Xbox, there's no reason why that exact same arrangement couldn't work for Sky and Canvas." On the other hand, whether Sky would be willing to back any broadcaster based technology which could threaten sales of its digiboxes is another matter entirely. It's behaviour so far isn't encouraging.

Ultimately, the bigger question will be whether Sky sees its future as an end-to-end solution provider or a primarily as a broadcaster looking to get its channels shown on as much hardware as possible.

Sky or not however Huggers was keen to talk up Canvas, which for the uninitiated is a set of hardware and software standards for IP-distributed content - think of it as next generation Freeview. "If we can get to a world where there's agreement across the industry for a single approach that can reach critical mass what you then get is economies of scale and the price of the devices will go down," he explained.

Of course the BBC Trust will soon rule over whether Canvas will get the go ahead for this open approach and Huggers says rejection would be hugely damaging. "The risk is complete fragmentation of the market place. For consumers what this will lead to, in a nutshell, is complete confusion."

Huggers also added that a third generation of BBC iPlayer will launch in Q1 2010 with added social networking functionality that will enable users to see what their friends have watched. "We will do it with Twitter, Bebo, Windows Live, Facebook, wherever our users happen to have a social network."

Go on BBC Trust, don't blow it... again.


via The Independent

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