BBC and Partners Sell off On-demand Video Platform

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A broadcasting and wireless infrastructure company has bought the assets of what was to be an on-demand video service with content from major U.K. broadcasters BBC, ITV and Channel 4.

Arqiva, which transmits the programs for terrestrial U.K. TV broadcasters, bought the hardware and software intended for the Project Kangaroo platform, which is designed to aggregate and sell video over the Internet. Terms of the deal were not announced, and the deal should close within a few weeks.

As it was getting ready to launch, Project Kangaroo was quashed in February by the U.K.'s Competition Commission. The majority of original U.K. TV content comes from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, and an alliance between them may make it too difficult for competing on-demand video services to develop, the agency said.

Arqiva said in a news release it will launch an on-demand video service in the U.K. within the coming months. The service will have a mix of content from broadcasters and independent content providers, some of which will be free and some for sale, it said. The goal is to provide a so-called one-stop shop for people to buy content.

The BBC already offers many of its programs through its iPlayer, which can stream radio program as well as play high-quality TV programs through a Flash player. That service is free but is unavailable to people outside the U.K. Channel 4 and ITV also offer their programming online.

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