Project Canvas

The BBC Trust confirmed that it had given the green light to Project Canvas, the video-on-demand joint venture between all the channels, but has imposed conditions on the corporation’s involvement to minimise “harmful effects on the market”.

If you don’t know, Project Canvas will be like the BBC iPlayer, but, with the key difference… basically, that all the channels will be on it. That’s quite exciting isn’t it (especially anyone who has had to endure the glitchfest of the ITVPlayer).

The approval for Project Canvas includes a list of 10 conditions, one of which is that it must be possible to access BBC content on the service without a subscription.

The BBC Trust also admitted that while Project Canvas, whose partners include ITV, BT, Channel 4, Five and TalkTalk, will bring massive benefits through video-on-demand programming to Freeview and Freesat households, it could slow the growth of pay-TV services – such as Virgin Media and BSkyB – and shrink the DVD rental market.

“Our provisional conclusions include some conditions on the BBC’s involvement,” said Diane Coyle, chair of the BBC Trust’s strategic approvals committee.

“These conditions are designed to help secure the public value we identified and to help minimise, where possible, any potential harmful effects on the market.”

Project Canvas has come in for heavy criticism from BSkyB, which has argued that issues exist over membership, the lack of a full market impact assessment and potential breaches of European Union state aid rules relating to the use of the licence fee.

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1