The Competition Commission has deemed Project Kangaroo too much of a threat and has blocked it from launching. The project, an online television venture between ITV, Channel 4 and BBC Worldwide, will fold and as a result 50 jobs will be lost.
In the final report on the project, Peter Freeman, the chairman of the Competition Commission, said, ‘BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4 together control the vast majority of this material, which puts them in a very strong position as wholesalers of TV content to restrict competition from other current and future providers of video-on-demand services to UK viewers.’
Project Kangaroo was proposed almost two years ago to be a service to separately sell BBC, ITV and Channel 4′s catch-up TV content to third party online video providers.
All three networks involved in the project expressed ‘disappointment’ at the Commission’s decision, but there appears to be no plan for an appeal. It’s estimated that the initiative cost all three partners more than £25m in staff costs, development and online program rights, and would have cost ITV and Channel 4 up to £15m each in 2009, says reports.