Project Kangaroo Debate Skips Forward

24 December 2008

LONDON: BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4 have abandoned plans to jointly sell their prime broadcast content to third-party online video providers, as they seek to resuscitate their controversial video-on-demand joint venture Project Kangaroo.

Under the new proposals, ITV and Channel 4 would sell their content independently, while the BBC would not sell any of its most recent content, which is already available via its online iPlayer platform. 

The move follows a ruling by the Competition Commission which argued that the scheme could lead to a "loss of rivalry" both among Kangaroo's partners and in the online video market as a whole.

By splitting their sales process, the trio claim that  they will now be involved in a "farmers' market" where they are forced to compete with each other.

If necessary, the broadcasters will also abandon plans to jointly sell their archive material. 

Project Kangaroo's statement reads: "Each partner would independently set the business model and price at which its UK TV content is offered to consumers.

"Each party would therefore determine whether each item of content was [paid for] or free, download-to-rent and/or download-to-own and/or subscription and the relevant price."

Data sourced from Media Guardian (UK); additional content by WARC staff