YouView, or Project Canvas as it was called initially, has faced some teething problems since it was first mooted back in 2009 however news this week of 16 possible content providers to the platform – including Sky – makes for better reading.
Initially slated for a 2010 launch, then pushed back to mid-2011 and now facing an early 2012 launch date, the collaborative project is in danger of becoming obsolete before it even appears. That was probably the reason behind Lord Alan Sugar’s appointment as non-executive chairman earlier this month, and he has sais he will “kill or cure” the project. At the Changing Media Summit, Richard Halton, chief executive of YouView announced the 16 content providers who had expressed an interest in supporting the platform An expression of interest from Sky was not expected as it was among a number of companies strongly opposing the project when it was first announced.
“We already distribute Sky content across a wide range of platforms. It makes sense for us to continue to explore new ways of reaching customers, but it's too early to say at this stage whether we'll offer a service over YouView," a Sky spokesperson said. YouView in a blog post said it was working with content partners “to shape and test the processes for making content available via the platform.”
The content providers working with YouView are Blinkbox, Blinkx, BSkyB, Film4oD, Golant Media Ventures, Guardian News & Media, IndieMoviesOnline, LOVEFiLM, Pushbutton, Radioplayer, Stream UK, STV, Travel Channel, Tvinci, UTV and woomi.
With more and more ways to access channels' catch-up service both via set-top boxes and on web-enabled TVs, should YouView face any further delays, its eventual launch could be something of a damp squib. Reports suggest that Lord Sugar since taking the role of chairman has been very hands-on and this can only be a good thing. Hopefully he’ll be saying “you’re hired” and not “you’re fired”, as we still think the YouView set-top box could be a great innovation.