Arqiva buys Kangaroo technology

By Julian Clover

Arqiva has confirmed plans to launch a new video on demand service, the basis of which will be the video-on-demand technology left in limbo by Project Kangaroo.

Arqiva will acquire the platform assets from UKVOD LLP, the joint venture established by BBC Worldwide, ITV plc and Channel 4. The content aggregation service was to have brought together the on-demand assets of the three terrestrial broadcasters including the so-called ‘dusty archive’, content that while retaining value was uneconomic to be released on physical media.

“Arqiva and its direct predecessors have been delivering linear analogue and digital TV services to UK viewers for many decades and we’re currently upgrading the TV network to deliver DSO,” said Steve Holebrook, managing director for Terrestrial Broadcast at Arqiva. “We believe that online video-on-demand is an exciting and complementary development, and a natural extension to our traditional broadcast business.”

Plans announced by the transmission company aim to pick up on the project that was ultimately vetoed by the competition commission. In a statement Arqiva said it would aim to “host top-end quality content from leading broadcasters and independent content providers.” This would effectively create a UK-based, if Canadian-owned, answer to the NBC-led Hulu, itself planning a UK market entry this autumn.