Macquarie Group to launch VoD in UK
Macquarie Infrastructure Group-owned Arqiva has bought the coveted assets of defunct VoD service Project Kangaroo.
The platform was jointly developed by ITV, Channel Four and BBC Worldwide for an estimated €35 million but snapped up Arqiva for a speculated sum of €8 million. Last week the BBC alone revealed that it had sunk €10.5 million into the project.
The much-anticipated Project Kangaroo platform was close to being ready for market launch before it was nixed by the Competition Commission.
Arqiva said that the platform’s assets would provide the technical basis of new video-on-demand service to be launched in the coming months in the UK and possibly internationally.
In Australia MCIG also owns Broadcast Australia, a digital broadcast transmission specialist and many of its free-to-air broadcast clients have been in talks to develop a Project Kangaroo-style content aggregation platform.
Arqiva said that its yet-to-be-branded VOD platform is designed for a content aggregation service, where a wide variety of TV content is brought together in a one-stop-shop for long-form video content.
As owner and operator of the UK's terrestrial TV infrastructure and license-holder of two of the six digital terrestrial TV multiplexes, Arqiva already has strong relationships with public service broadcasters and other content providers in the UK.
The platform will host top-end quality content from leading broadcasters and independent content providers to provide a broad range of user experiences to its audiences. Arqiva says that both free-to-air and pay content propositions will be offered.
“Arqiva and its direct predecessors have been delivering linear analogue and digital TV services to UK viewers for many decades and we're currently upgrading the TV network to deliver DSO,” said Arqiva MD for terrestrial broadcast, Steve Holebrook.
“We believe that online video-on-demand is an exciting and complementary development, and a natural extension to our traditional broadcast business.”