BBC still angling for Sky Canvas collaboration

Canvas - will it be approved?
Canvas - will it be approved?

The BBC's Erik Huggers has once more urged Sky to get on board with Project Canvas, the IPTV project that the satellite giants have opposed.

Sky are adamant that Canvas – which is being led by the BBC, but also includes BT, Five, Channel 4 and ITV – is not something that should be paid for out of licence fee money, something that the BBC Trust is still discussing.

The chances are that, if Canvas is pushed through by the Trust, Sky would consider it as a platform for its premium Sky Player application, but the unease at the BBC setting the IPTV standard is clear.

Xbox model

However, Huggers believes that a recent tie-up with Microsoft on the Sky Player is indicative of the direction that Sky should choose.

"Sky are very happy to put Sky Player on the Xbox, there's no reason why that exact same arrangement couldn't work for Sky and Canvas," Huggers told The Independent.

Aside from the obvious point that Microsoft doesn't receive the licence fee, it's not an argument that comes anywhere near addressing the objections outlined by Sky in its open response to the BBC Trust's call for views.

Little justification

"With the DTG working to create a common set of standards, and with the evidence of new services coming to market/in the pipeline, there is little justification for the BBC to invest public money in replicating something that is already being delivered," says that response.

"Canvas is just one platform amongst many, but with the advantage of having the marketing, content and funding support of the BBC. This risks seriously distorting competition and dampening innovation from the commercial sector in this crucial stage of development.

"Sky's principled objections remain (as above) that the BBC's public purposes and obligations could be achieved more efficiently and proportionately than presently planned."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.