Peace breaks out between Sky and Canvas

By Julian Clover
October 15, 2009

Future of Online Media – London: Sky has offered an olive branch to the BBC over the possibility of its content being carried on the proposed Canvas system.

While repeating Sky’s misgivings over the BBC’s role in the broadband delivery project, Griff Parry, director, Sky On Demand, said he expected Canvas to be one of a number of content environments found on connected devices. “Canvas could be a great opportunity for Sky or Sky Player, so I’ve tried to make myself feel positive about it, but I need to feel confident that things like content discovery and UI work properly and you [Canvas] would be able to protect the security of our content. There are a lot of unanswered questions, but it is a potential opportunity”.

Richard Halton, the BBC’s programme director, IPTV said he understood the need to promote content in a consistent manner across all devices. “To be fair to Sky and as a content owner ourselves, a producer and provider of channels, we have very similar concerns…we have similar obligations to studios and rights holders, so we have a lot of interests in common.”

Sky is working on the delivery of its own content on a cross platform basis. The broadcaster has today announced plans to make its premium channels available over the hybrid DTT-IP platform Fetch TV in a manner that arguably makes plans for the DTT pay service Picnic somewhat redundant. As broadband connectivity becomes commonplace on television devices, Sky and others will look to use the opportunity both as a means to secure additional revenues and to promote their own platforms.