Sky's Gerry O'Sullivan has confirmed that the company would be interested in a presence on the BBC's Project Canvas, but expressed his concern that the BBC was getting involved in the platform business.

O'Sullivan, Sky's Director of Strategic Product Development, said that there was a watching brief from Sky over Canvas – the IPTV venture that is being considered by the BBC Trust.

The Sky man admitted that he had been fascinated to see a presentation at the Intellect Consumer Electronics conference by the BBC's Erik Huggers, and that Sky was interested in the development.

Watching brief

"I think its something we're looking at," said O'Sullivan.

"I mean to be quite honest I've learned more from listening to Erik [Huggers] about Canvas today than I've ever heard before.

"We've been trying to work out what is and what it will be when the BBC Trust have decided what they are going to do.

"For me it's something that we are looking at."

Concerns voiced

O'Sullivan also outlined his concerns about the BBC getting involved in the platform to the degree that has been suggested and pointed out that Sky is pushing on with its own VOD internet service - Sky Player.

"What we've done for our own customers, is we've launched Sky Player before iPlayer was even named and we understand that our customers want to see their content on many different devices," added O'Sullivan

"That has been our philosophy all along, and that's why if you subscribe to content not only can you watch it through your set top box you can watch it at no extra cost on the web, or on your phone and that's important because people like having value from their subscription.

"What I'd be concerned about is that the focus of the BBC should be on producing fantastic content – which our subscribers love and helping the emerging platforms and remaining platform neutral.

"I'd be concerned if they thought that the platform business and the distribution business is something that they really need to address."

Sony also expressed its concerns over Project Canvas at the conference - which may prove to be a worry for both the BBC and the BBC Trust who are yet to ratify the venture.