BBC, ITV, Channel 4 plot single broadband TV player
Project Kangaroo is go
The UK's terrestrial broadcasters are reportedly in talks to establish a single platform for on-demand TV to broadband devices. The BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 are said to be aiming to create a "one-stop shop", open to other channels too, which would allow legal broadband viewing from one programme.
According to The Guardian, the plan is dubbed "Project Kangaroo" and will "do for broadband what Freeview did for digital television". It is expected to operate like Joost, perhaps hinting at some P2P element.
The talks have included discussions with the Digital Television Group - the coalition that controls Freeview - about loading Project Kangaroo software into set-top boxes, to allow maximum penetration. That would put it in direct competition with BT's Freeview/on-demand offering, Vision, as well as with Sky and Virgin Media.
The Kangaroo trio all already have individual on-demand players: Channel 4 has 4OD, ITV's launch of its 30-day catch up service is imminent, while the BBC's controversial iPlayer has been in development for three years.
There's no word on a schedule for Project Kangaroo, and Channel 5 isn't involved at the moment, so it'll likely be a while before we can enjoy archived episodes of Touch the Truck.
The Guardian astutely notes that Project Kangaroo could put a fly in Ofcom's quango ointment. One of the mooted aims of the regulator's £100m "public service publisher" wheeze is an open platform for delivering TV over broadband. ®