Virgin eyes legal challenge to Canvas
Set to request Ofcom probe
Virgin Media looks set to formally complain about Project Canvas to communications watchdog Ofcom, The Times reports today.
Virgin believes Project Canvas, which is developing a standard framework for the delivery of IPTV services, is anti-competitive and presumably fears it will dissuade punters from subscribing to the hundreds of channels it offers over its cable TV network and clog up the broadband links it sells as an ISP.
Project Canvas' plan is to create a system that allows content providers to create a single front-end which can be accessed by any Canvas-capable hardware. Manufacturers of consumer electronics kit only need to implement Canvas to provide their customers with all Canvas-compatible services, which need not be free to view.
As its stands, vendors and service providers have to implement device-specific versions of offerings like YouTube, Lovefilm, Flickr, Picasa, Facebook etc, and that's slowing the roll-out of such services to everything from tellies to set-top boxes.
If Virgin does make a formal complaint, it could delay Canvas even further. As it stands, Canvas isn't expected to go live until Spring 2011, and an Ofcom investigation could push this back six months or more.
Assuming, of course, Ofcom decides an investigation is warranted, and that's by no means certain. ®
Special Report WTF is... Project Canvas
If Virgin had ever made a single quality TV programme, or anything of any cultural worth whatsoever, they could join the scheme themselves.
I'm all for UK *programme-makers* standing up to leeches like Virgin or Sky who's only function is to collect cash used outbid the free channels for sport or US drama and (in the case of Virgin particularly) push endless reams of un-wanted marketing crap through my letterbox.
Not a leg to stand on?
Can't see their objection.
a bunch of companies aggreeing a common standard is not the same as a cartel.
Nor would a common standard hamper competition in the delivery of services (paid or unpaid)
Virgin-branded publicity seeking?
All our Yesterdays...
Virgin hasn't a leg to stand on.
It's a cable service, so it can only give access to customer within its catchment area. Which is small. Last I heard Virgin haven't done any serious additional cabling for years.
So it'll have to remain price and service competitive with Canvas. Something I very much doubt it can do.
Virgin could have offered on-line services like YouTube, TV browsing, a large music catalogue to its customers years ago. But it's been virtually broke for years and can't afford to develop these kinds of eventual money earners.
Canvas will simply show it up next year as 'yesterdays' service!