Mid-2009 launch for Kangaroo

The partners behind the Kangaroo are looking to launch the online video portal by mid-2009, according to new information released by the Competition Commission. BBC Worldwide, Channel 4 and ITV plc have now formed a limited liability partnership known as UKVOD.

Although the partners have now agreed the necessary contractual documentation, which had caused earlier delays to the Competition Commission investigation, it still requires the approval of the companies boards and the BBC Trust. Most importantly the parties must then wait for the final decision of the Competition Commission, expected in February 2009.

UKVOD will be largely advertising supported and include catch-up TV from the past 30 days, older broadcast material and movies, all delivered from a single website. It is also hoped to make the service available on other pay-TV platforms.

Content will continue to be available from the BBC iPlayer, and the ITV.com and Channel 4 websites, however Channel 4 is expected to close its paid-for 4oD service.

In recent days there has been speculation that the NBC-News Corp venture Hulu might use Kangaroo to enter the UK market, but there is no mention of this in the Competition Commission document.