Arqiva confirms Kangaroo launch

Chris Forrester

UK transmission company Arqiva has appointed a CEO to its Kangaroo VOD service which will now launch in the “coming months”.

The newly-appointed boss is Pierre-Jean Sebert, already well-known to Arqiva as MD of Eurosport in the UK (and its British Eurosport subsidiary) which Arqiva predecessor NTL hosted at NTL’s Feltham, London, studios. Sebert left Eurosport in 2005 since when he has been advising a portfolio of broadcasters including Virgin Media, ONO, Rainbow Media and others.

Arqiva’s acquisition of Kangaroo, bought from UKVOD LLP (a j-v owned by the BBC, ITV and Channel 4), also closed yesterday. Arqiva said it plans to use the assets to launch a new video-on-demand service to UK consumers in the coming months. The platform will aim to host top-end, quality content from leading broadcasters and independent content providers with both free-to-air and pay-content propositions.

“I’m very much looking forward to leading the launch of this new platform and to establish it as a prominent proposition in the market,” said Mr Sebert. “It’s an important new route for quality long-form content to reach an additional audience, and complements Arqiva’s traditional role in terrestrial broadcasting. We have rapidly established ourselves operationally and have already made significant progress with our consumer proposition, both in terms of user experience and content acquisition. We will share our vision and progress in due time.”

Steve Holebrook, managing director for Terrestrial Broadcast at Arqiva, said: "We are delighted to announce Pierre-Jean's appointment. He brings a wealth of experience across the UK media industry and is ideally placed to lead the new venture. Our focus is now shifting to the business side of the venture and getting ready for the launch of this exciting service."

However, most observers think Arqiva had better get its skates on. This Hulu-like service has Hulu itself nipping at its heels, and most expect Hulku to launch this autumn in the UK.