BSkyB Hops Into Project Kangaroo Debate

19 September 2008

LONDON: News Corporation's UK satellite monopoly BSkyB has voiced its opposition to Project Kangaroo, an online video-on-demand service currently under development by terrestrial rivals ITV, Channel 4 and BBC Worldwide, the commercial wing of the BBC.

The service – which will provide content from the three broadcasters' archives and be mostly funded by advertising – is currently under investigation by the Competition Commission, which regulates matters like mergers and market share.

In its submission to the investigation, BSkyB argued Project Kangaroo would “reduce the likelihood of VOD offerings by existing competitors and potentially decrease the likelihood of new entry.” 

According to the company, the fact that Kangaroo's partners had “access to direct and indirect state funding” also gave the service a “unique” advantage, thus contributing to a “substantial lessening of competition” in the VOD market. 

BT and Tiscali – which both provide VOD services – have also argued Project Kangaroo will enjoy “de facto exclusivity” due to its founders' control over programme production, leveraging their position over other content providers and reducing overall competition for rights.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff