YouView appoints new non-exec chairman

Editor | 17-10-2013

He may not have the same public profile of his predecessor, but Simon Duffy will certainly have the same-sized job on his hands as non-executive chairman of YouView.

The non-subscription catch-up TV and video-on-demand (VOD) service has experienced a rollercoaster history, beset by management and technical setbacks that saw it launch almost three years after it was first proposed, the latest of which being the resignation of former non-executive chairman Lord Alan Sugar. The UK TV legend departed in what was described by a witness as an expletive-laden boardroom argument with Richard Desmond, owner of UK broadcaster Channel 5 - a founding partner of the service along with the BBC, ITV, BT, TalkTalk, Arqiva and Channel 4.

Yet despite this, the project looks like it is actually beginning to gain a head of steam, claiming to be the fastest growing TV service in the UK reaching 400,000 homes across the UK, eight months after launch. Further viewing statistics also reveal that YouView serves over 2.2 million VOD plays per week, with around 60% of customers viewing VOD programmes every week. Driving this growth has been telcos TalkTalk and BT.

Aiming to bring stability to the proceedings, Duffy is an experienced non-executive director and chairman, and currently serves as non-executive chairman of digital entertainment and mBlox. He is also a non-executive director of Oger Telecom Limited and Scandinavian pay-TV concern Modern Times Group.

Commenting on his appointment, effective immediately, interim chairman, Sir Charles Dunstone, said: “We are delighted that Simon is joining YouView. He brings vast experience of leading the boards of major organisations and in depth knowledge and experience of our sector.” Duffy added: “I am excited to be part of YouView as it continues its journey beyond launch and a successful first year. YouView will play a crucial role in the future of television and the Internet in the UK and I look forward to working with the board and executive team to achieve this vision.”