Canvas becomes YouView

Following its incorporation as YouView TV Ltd at the end of last week, Project Canvas, the proposed joint venture between the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, Channel 5, Talk Talk and Arqiva to build a standards based, open Internet-connected TV environment, is being rebranded as YouView, and has launched a new website – www.youview.com – for viewers, partners and developers. Project leader Richard Halton is to be the CEO, while also confirmed as ‘Innovation Partners’ are Technicolor, Humax and Cisco.

“We are creating an exciting consumer brand which will stand for a better TV experience for UK homes. Connected TV creates all kinds of creative possibilities, for existing networks as well as local services and new developers of interactive applications,” said Halton. “It all adds up to great news for TV audiences. I look forward to working closely with the creative and developer communities to open up exciting possibilities for viewers to discover and enjoy content in new ways.”

Halton also revealed that YouView users would have access to pay content, be able to go online and find on-demand subscription content. “That means, all of a sudden, the free-to-air platforms, which typically have been the ones with the least choice, suddenly see this explosion of choice and content,” he said “It’s going to take the Freeview platform, which risked being left behind, and keep it in step with all other offerings on the market.”

According to Halton, the seven million homes with Freeview and broadband constitute YouView’s core market. “Our research suggested that 870,000 homes would go online to get YouView – that’s a big number,” he claimed. YouView is expected to launch in the first half of 2011.

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