BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4 have joined forces to launch an on-demand content service in 2008 with the working title of ‘Kangaroo’.
The service will offer a collection of over ten thousand hours of the very best of the UK broadcasters’ current and archive programming, all made available through one service. These plans are subject to formal approval from the BBC Trust and each broadcaster’s board.
The UK service will carry a broad range of programming and will be a rich entertainment site where consumers can catch up on recently aired shows and watch old favourites. The 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 service will launch as a web based proposition and will be available for distribution on other platforms. Content will be available both for streaming and download at a range of tariffs: free, rent or buy. The final name of the service will be announced before launch.
John Smith, CEO 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. The new service will contain some of the very best of the UK’s content for consumers to view in one place, which will be both easy to use and great fun. By combining our joint resources we’re really taking control of our destiny in a market that’s moving at a fast pace.”
Michael Grade, executive chairman of ITV said: "The joint service has the potential to become an important shop window for UK broadcaster content and a great destination for viewers."
Channel 4 CEO Andy Duncan observed: "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."
The new service will complement existing on-demand services from all three broadcasters.