BBC officially hops off of Project Kangaroo

The BBC's Internet TV service ambitions have come to a halt as the television network and its two partners are selling the technology that powered the service known as Project Kangaroo to Arqiva. Arqiva, which owns all of Britain's television towers and about 20 percent of the country's cell phone towers, plans to leverage the Project Kangaroo technology to launch its own Video on Demand service for U.K. consumers. A joint venture between BBC Worldwide, ITV PLC and Channel 4 Television Corp, Project Kangaroo was initially conceived as a commercial version of the BBC's iPlayer Internet TV service, which enables U.K. consumers to download any BBC TV broadcast from a preceding week.

However, Project Kangaroo hit a major snag this past February when BT and other broadcasters raised concerns that the BBC would be wielding too much control over the emerging video-on-demand market. Ultimately, Britain's antitrust regulator, the Competition Commission, sided with Project Kangaroo's critics and said the project would give the BBC and its partners an unfair advantage in the country's VOD market. As a result, Project Kangaroo dismissed the bulk of its staff and was effectively shut down. Arqiva was not the only bidder for Project Kangaroo. Earlier this year France Telecom's Orange was said to be another likely bidder on the project's assets, but apparently withdrew its offer.

For more:
- Wall Street Journal has this article

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