The trinity of British broadcasting — the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV — said Tuesday that their collaborative online video site is becoming reality, set to debut in 2008.
The partners said Kangaroo (the working title) “will work independently as an aggregator of both joint venture partners and third-party content.
“The video-on-demand service will offer downloads and streaming videos served up for free or as sales and rentals.
The broadcasters currently have their own online video schemes, such as the BBC’s catch-up iPlayer. The content offered on that player — still in beta — somehow will be linked into Kangaroo.
No mention of what limits there would be, if any, on foreign users. The iPlayer stubbornly refuses to work for non-U.K. visitors, probably due to that weird TV license all the royal subjects pay. So this may not bring the States “Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work” ahead of BBC America’s schedule. Sigh.
Here’s how the thing’s supposed to work with regard to the existing U.K. online video services:
The new service will complement BBC iPlayer, the free catch-up TV service offering hundreds of programmes a week from the last seven days. BBC iPlayer content will be listed within the new service. ITV.com will continue to feature a 30 day catch up facility alongside simulcasts of ITV1, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 and a wealth of news, clips, stills, exclusive content and interactivity across and around ITV programming. Channel 4’s website will host a catch-up service including accompanying comprehensive programme information and clips, whilst 4oD will evolve into the new service.
Whilst we absorb that, here are your canned and imported quotes:
- “The joint service venture has the potential to become an important shop window for U.K. broadcaster content and a free destination for viewers,” said Michael Grade, the executive chairman of ITV.
- “The new service will contain some of the very best of the U.K.’s content for consumers to view in one place, which will be both easy to use and great fun,”said John Smith, CEO of BBC Worldwide.
- “We believe this deal will lead to a major step change in the on-demand services offered by UK broadcasters and is good news for independents and the creative community, for advertisers and, above all, for viewers,” said Andy Duncan, Channel 4’s CEO.