Monday, November 26, 2007

BBC, ITV and Channel 4 to Launch "Kangaroo" Web-TV Service

BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4 in the UK will launch a commercial on-demand content service in 2008 with the working title of 'Kangaroo'.

The service will bring together over ten thousand hours of the UK broadcasters' current and archive programming. The three-way joint venture will be owned equally and will work independently as an aggregator of both joint venture partners and third party content and will encourage other quality content providers to join the service to further enhance the viewer experience.

The BBC said the service will launch initially as a web based proposition and will be available for distribution on other platforms. Content will be available both streamed and downloaded and viewers will be able to watch for free, rent or buy.

John Smith, Chief Executive Officer of BBC Worldwide said: "This is a historic partnership between the UK's largest broadcasters. For some time we have wanted to form an alliance with other rights holders in the UK and give viewers an on-demand service with real added value."

Michael Grade, Executive Chairman of ITV plc said: "This key strategic move is complementary to our investment in and further strengthens ITV's customer proposition online. The joint service has the potential to become an important shop window for UK broadcaster content and a great destination for viewers."

Andy Duncan, Channel 4 Chief Executive said: "TV on the internet is a rapidly growing medium as proven by the incredible success that Channel 4 has enjoyed with its 4oD service. We want to continue to build and innovate in this area, giving viewers ultimate control over what they watch and when they watch it, and believe that partnering and sharing expertise is the best way of doing this."