Advanced Television

Canvas not under sail

June 9, 2009

The BBC Trust has delayed its decision on the go-ahead of the BBC lead Project Canvas as it calls on more detail from BBC executives and their partners BT and ITV. The Trust, which had decided there was no need for a commercial impact assessment, was due to make a decision in July, however all the submissions it received in its initial consultation process said the Canvass proposal was much too short on detail. Now the Trust will conduct a second phase of consultation for which there is no timetable as yet.

"A common theme that emerged was that more information was needed from the BBC executive about the Canvas proposal,” said BBC trustee Diane Coyle.”So in the interests of making a robust and independent decision we have asked the [BBC] executive to look at the issues that stakeholders have raised and report back to us.”

Specifically the Trust wants more details on:

The choice of technical standards for Canvas

The way in which the BBC will work with industry bodies

Control of the electronic programme guide

Governance arrangements for the joint venture

The use of editorial controls

In its submission BSkyB argued that the Project Canvas proposals were “not sufficiently clear in fundamental respects”. Ofcom warned that the venture could run the risk of a competition investigation.


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