LONDON: Three of Britain's four main broadcast networks - the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 - have united in a joint venture to offer TV on demand via the internet. Out in the cold is the fourth terrestrial channel, Five, with no explanation on offer.

The new service, provisionally branded Kangaroo, will launch some time in 2008, offering over 10,000 hours of 'catch-up' and archived TV content. Some offerings will be chargeable, others free.

The venture is jointly and equally owned by its founding trio and will operate independently of its parents under the baton of Lesley MacKenzie, former BSkyB director of channels and operations.

Annelise Berendt, senior analyst telecoms and software consultancy Ovum, sees this as "a significant move in a number of ways".

"Firstly, this is the [broadcast] establishment fighting back. Secondly, and particularly important in terms of attracting large audiences, this venture will give consumers a one-stop shop for on-demand content with choice.

"Thirdly, this announcement is an acknowledgement that no single player can conquer the internet alone."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff