Channel Five has quit Project Canvas to review its digital investment strategy. Canvas is a collaboration between TV content providers and broadband network operators to develop an open-standards based set-top box for viewing on-demand TV such as iPlayer through the television. Thought to be branded YouView, the service is expected to launch in the first half of 2011. It continues to receive the backing of the six remaining project partners which includes the BBC, BT, ITV, Channel 4, TalkTalk and Arqiva.
"We continue to support the objectives of Project Canvas and despite withdrawing our interest in the venture we believe it will be a critical part of our strategy for reaching consumers in the future."Charles Constable, (Director of Strategy) Five
Channel Five has been put up for sale by parent company RTL and a source told the Guardian that Five struggled to convince RTL's majority owner, Bertelsmann that Canvas was a valuable thing to be involved with.
"We've had excellent support from Five. They share our goal of bringing the benefits of internet-connected TV to all. We look forward to working with them as a content provider to the platform in the future."Richard Halton, (Director) Project Canvas