Canvas chief praises Sky's BBC Trust submission

Halton spoke at the 2010 IPTV World Conference
Halton spoke at the 2010 IPTV World Conference

Richard Halton – the man fronting Project Canvas – has insisted that the IPTV partnership can overcome the objections of other major UK broadcasters, and offered his congratulations to its harshest critic Sky for the constructive nature of its submission to the BBC Trust.

Although it has been granted a preliminary greenlight from the BBC Trust, it will wait for the Office of Fair Trading to look into the partnership between the BBC, BT, Channel Four, Five, ITV, Talk Talk and Arqiva, as well as receiving submissions from those critical of the project before giving a final go ahead

In the meantime, Sky has not let up in its outspoken and public criticisms of the BBC involvement, with a column by Mike Darcey in the Guardian outlining the main objections from the broadcaster.

Charm offensive

However, at the IPTV World Forum, Halton joked about the failure to yet rein in the criticism and insisted that the complexity of the project was what made it so fascinating.

"As you see from Mike Darcey's piece last week I've been brilliantly successful," joked Halton when asked how the charm offensive was going.

"Sky in particular have their own perspective on Canvas. I'm not sure that the arguments that they have put forward in recent weeks are particularly consistent but you know there's two sides to that discussion which is what makes this such an interesting project for me.

"For any broadcaster that has a wide range of content and wants to make it available over an IPTV device, Canvas is pretty exciting.

"Whether it's Sky Player or Blinkbox or the BBC iPlayer, Canvas will open up three or four million homes that can't get interactive and on-demand services; regardless of your business model that's pretty exciting."

Constructive criticism

Halton believes that Sky's submission to the Trust raised interesting points, adding: "In some ways I congratulate Sky for its submission because it's very constructive in lots of ways.

"My view is that partners will engage in the project."

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.