Tag Archives | Channel 4

Arqiva Buys Kangaroo Assets; Will Launch VOD

Canadian-based Arqiva, which is the UK’s largest broadcast transmission provider, has purchased the technology assets behind Kangaroo, the BBC/ITV/Channel 4 initiative that was derailed by regulators. See this article on StreamingMediaGlobal.com for more information.

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Hulu Coming to the UK; Rest of Europe to Follow?

Everyone loves Hulu. Everyone who can actually watch it, that is, a demographic that has until now included only people in the U.S. (or savvy geospoofers). According to an article in the Telegraph, the service is set to launch in the UK in September, featuring about 3,000 hours of U.S. content in addition to shows from the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4. That is, if negotiations about who controls the advert sales around the ITV and Channel 4 content get ironed out. Hulu wants to run the show, while the networks are (unsurprisingly) not quite so eager to turn over that control. Chalk it up to cultural differences? And when, oh when, will the rest of the world get all that Hulu goodness? No official word on that yet, but surely the UK plans are a good sign.

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RIP Kangaroo JV

The UK Competitions Commission effectively blocked the Kangaroo VOD service from launching with its final report, released today, in which chairman Peter Freeman said the service “would be too much of a threat to competition in this developing market and has to be stopped.” It’s a blow to BBC Worldwide, ITV, and Channel 4, and unsurprisingly, the partners are calling it a “missed opportunity in the development of British broadcasting.” As much as I’m in favor of unfettered competition, I have to say I think the commission blew this one. PaidContent:UK has some great analysis of the decision here.

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FutureMedia 2008: Broadcast Facing a Perfect Storm

FutureMedia 2008 is going on in London this week (last day is Friday), and they’ve got a terrific roster of speakers from the broadcast industry who are addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by online video distribution. Streaming Media Europe Conference Development Director Katherine Allen is attending the conference, and she shares these reflections:

Broadcast entertainment is facing a “perfect storm” created by the convergence of the global economic crisis and a dramatic change in audience behaviour as consumers move online, according to  Jon Gisby, Channel 4’s Director of New Media and Technology, speaking today at the FutureMedia conference in London. In Gisby’s view, to keep pace with this change, the broadcast commissioning model must evolve to embrace true multi-platform ‘360 degree’ content. Channel 4 are putting their money where their mouth is with their digital fund 4iP, which aims to develop a new generation of talent through multi-platform projects – rather than from the starting point of TV content. Gisby declined to comment in detail on Project Kangaroo while the Competition Commission enquiry is ongoing, but did state there would be no connection between Kangaroo and the recently announced Channel 4 cutbacks.

Matt Locke, Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor expanded on the theme of multi-platform programming in an all-digital, all-the-time world. “I get very annoyed when people talk about platforms”, he commented. “I’m  commissioning editor for attention.” According to Red Bee’s Jonathan Wilson, “we have to move away from the TV versus online debate”. Instead, he argued, content owners need to evolve “from sheepdogs to sherpas”, taking on the role of trusted guide leading content consumers from one platform to another.  

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