Virgin prepping challenge to Canvas

Virgin Media looks increasingly likely to mount a challenge against internet television service Project Canvas.

Virgin prepping challenge to Canvas

The video on demand service has received the go-ahead from the BBC Trust and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), but could yet face further legal hurdles if Virgin mounts a competition complaint.

Quizzed about the possibility of lodging a complaint with either Ofcom or the Office of Fair Trading to address these competition concerns, Virgin remained coy, but suggested there was substance to rumours and that some sort of action was likely.

“We don’t comment on speculation or rumour,” a spokesperson told PC Pro. “But if you ask us about it again next week we’ll have something to say on the subject.”

Project Canvas aims to take the content available on Freeview and Freesat, and potentially other programming, and make it available over the internet, offering catch-up services similar to the BBC’s iPlayer via set-top boxes.

Last week, Channel Five withdrew from the partnership, but pledged to remain a content supplier when and if the project finally goes live.

This week, the project is reportedly closing in on securing a new partner in the shape of Orange. According to the Guardian, Orange is in talks with Canvas over a deal that would put Orange on a level playing field with other big ISPs, which all offer VoD as part of bundles to attract customers.

BT already has its BT Vision VoD service, while TalkTalk has signed on with Canvas. Sky and Virgin have their own TV services.

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