The BBC trust has delayed Project Canvas, a joint venture between the BBC, ITV and BT to provide a catch-up TV service via the Internet to set-top boxes. Canvas is set to provide an iPlayer like service for the Television by developing open standards and allowing content providers and service providers to work together to provide a platform that will deliver this.
The BBC executive had applied to the BBC Trust for approval of the service in February, and the trust were carrying out two consultations from stakeholders, the second of which was supposed to close by July 24th. This however has been delayed until after the Trust acquires more information about Canvas from the partners. A new time frame has yet to be defined.
"Many expressed concern over a lack of detail in some key areas of the Executive's application. These included the choice of technical standards to be adopted by Canvas and the way in which the BBC would work with industry bodies; control of the Electronic Programme Guide; governance arrangements for the joint venture; and the use of editorial controls. Some stakeholders argued that, without such detail, it was difficult to assess fully the potential public value and market impact of proposals."
"The Trust does not now intend to publish a decision on the 24 July. We intend to delay the second consultation until after the Executive has returned with further detail in support of its application. This additional information and a revised timetable to complete our assessment will be shared with stakeholders in due course."Statement from the BBC Trust
With over 800 submissions from stakeholders which were broadly in support of the idea of delivering TV over broadband, it is hoped that the project will not get dropped. Canvas was previously warned by Ofcom that they could be subject to a competition investigation which was what lead to the downfall of Project Kangaroo, a previous joint venture on-demand TV service between the BBC, ITV and Channel4.
BSkyB for one have already indicated that they would like a full market assessment test from Ofcom as they do not believe that there is sufficient justification for Canvas.