Project Canvas gets democratic

The BBC’s open IPTV platform Project Canvas has loosened its restrictions on ownership inviting carriers, ISP and broadcasters to be equal stakeholders.

The ambitious hybrid IPTV/VOD/interactive platform has changed its shareholding stipulations in order to appease the projects’ detractors.
The BBC backed project which is slated to go live in late 2010 has attracted heat for delays and rising costs.
According to the latest figures from the BBC Executive released by the BBC Trust, the platform will attract €22.83 million in costs prior to launch.
The proposed opening up of the project to new entrants would mean increased external investment as each party would have to tip in €4.11 million each to take part. Currently the foundation partners are BBC, ITV, Five and BT , all of which have publically committed to the investment.
Project Canvas programme director Richard Halton, said "we want to offer any potential new partners an equal share of voice in the new venture."
According to BBC Trust projections by the end of the first five years of operation Canvas would have cost over €128 million, with the recovery of around €18.9  million through placements on the EPG.
The opening of Canvas to the pure commercial sector means the removal of the previous 33.3 to 66.7% split in favor of the public service broadcasters (PSBs).
That scenario would have given ISPs an increasing limited voice the more participants joined.
The BBC Trust is still deliberating over the whole Canvas proposal.