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back to article Competition watchdog bounces BBC, ITV and C4's web TV plan

A plan by the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 to offer their shows in one location on demand on the web received a major blow today when the Competition Commission said the plan would "restrict competition". Releasing the preliminary findings of an investigation into Project Kangaroo, the regulator asked the broadcasters to comment on …

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Anonymous Coward

I don't care about competition

Kangaroo sounds like a good idea, especially if Sky and Virgin Media get involved as well.

Honestly, competition laws really aren't there to protect the consumer.

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Anonymous Coward

Comment on ‘Competition watchdog bounces BBC, ITV and C4's web TV plan’

So what, I say yes please, I will not pay Sky and Virgin why should I

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Er

Nobody is going to set up a sky account to watch something they could get free on TV, just becuase.. they can get it free online, but in one place.

Nor is anyone going to leave sky becuase they can watch some Channel 4 and BBC stuff online.

Nobody gives a shit what ITV do, c'mon. Unless Coronation Street is invaded by Soviets or soemthing, you know, INTERESTING. :P

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Yeah, great

Evidence from the monopolists of satellite and cable, great work there.

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Alert

Easy Fix...

Open kangaroo to anyone who wants to host a channel...(they should pay setup fees)

Now you have to decide on allocation, this is a sticking point with all current numerical channels but is easy to fix, channels are simply named, and are sorted not numerically or alphabetically but solely by popularity. A simple as you type search filter will enable quick channel selection. Then the biggest say 8 (maybe 12) get headline billing and channel buttons the rest are sorted say in a listbox by popularity.

Ongoing Fees should be dicided by viewing numbers - as should advertising costs/revenue.

advertising could be cross channel or specific. but needs to be central to the delivery platform. with central regulation.

The Overall body organisation (kangaroo) should be not for profit.

Open and Fair.

Job done.

Now wheres my million quid in consultancy fees?

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Mo

iTunes?

One route would be to simply offer programmes as free rentals on iTunes UK for 7 days. BBC WW and Channel 4 (and Sky, and many others) already *sell* the programmes on iTunes, and we know the iTunes Store supports rentals now. I suspect some hefty negotiating regarding the logistics of it would have to be done, but that's a business, not a technological issue.

It's not the ideal, universal solution for several reasons, but if they want a unified platform which isn't tied to any of the channels.

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Another chance for a Microsoft-Browser-Only-Tie-In?

"In November its chief executive of four months, former BBC technology chief Ashley Highfield, quit for a job at Microsoft."

Another venture where shows I've paid for, as a license payer and tax payer, are not available on Linux, S60, Palm, Solaris, or any other platform I can view them? Crash and burn, BBC, crash and burn.

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Going down the wrong route

Instead of all the faffing around with websites like this, why not spend a fraction of the budget that goes towards maintaining the terrestrial broadcast system, and build a UK video content delivery system.

Put points of presence in all the major ISPs, provide a standardised "receiver" mechanism (which can be upgraded as video codecs improve) and then charge for access on the same basis that they currently do for the terrestrial broadcast system. That way anyone can join in, and the UK gets a fast, reliable and universally available (but geo restricted) TV over IP infrastructure.

The the broadcasters get a fast system to deliver content, and the ISPs can stop whinging about the internetwork transfer costs of all the iPlayer and 4OD usage.

Also, we could dump Flash for something purpose built for the task.

Paul

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Unhappy

I don't get it?

I just don't get it.

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Anonymous Coward

Stupid logic

They all share Astra (and Sky too) does this mean that they don't compete?

They all share the same transmitters, does this mean they don't compete?

They all transmit programs in the same format, does this mean they don't compete?

So what is he saying, that they should transmit web programs on different standards with different software? Why? Just to make Sky happy? Since when has TV ever competed on the *format* and *transmission* method! They compete on programs and audience not on transmissions standards.

If I was him I'd do something about Sky/Newspapers/Internet.

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@Dave Edmondston

No. Its being run by BBC world wide, not paid for by the licence fee...

Can we have a comentard icon please?

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Thumb Up

Don't dump flash

Embrace it! iPlayer is the only thing that works on all platforms in my experience. Get the beeb to license this to Sky/E4/ITV/whoever and then they can all provide whatever streaming they want.

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Anonymous Coward

Domestic Content

So let me get this right. Because Sky and Virgin buy in most of their shite from the US rather than producing their own domestic shite project Kangaroo is somehow anti-competitive?

Can someone explain please. If Domestic Content is key to everything (which is what I think they are saying) then how are Sky and Virgin surviving?

Think I'll go and lie down and listen to the radio!

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wow...

i didnt realise that sky obviously gives so much help to bbc, itv etc - why should that wanker murdoch get any help? he has all but killed sport on the TV, snaps up all the decent TV.

virgin show bbc stuff already so whats their problem? i can access the iplayer from my v+ box

surely all they are looking at is a delivery mechanism for the normal channels....

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Re:Domestic content

Hell I'm not even sure how ITV and Channel 4 are surviving. The BBC at least puts out the occasional original show, but I'm lucky to watch it twice a week. Okay 4 has Paul O'Gradie or however you spell it which seems popular enough. There is nothing else I ever watch on terrestrial channels though, ever.

I doubt there would be any more content overall than there is in the SkyPlayer, or the VPlayer... not to mention what SkyPlus and VPlus do for competition.

I notice they also didn't complain when SkyPlus and VPlus reduced the ability for channels to directly compete by placing programming opposite certain other programming on other channels. Lusers.

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Alert

Re: Don't dump flash

"Embrace it! iPlayer is the only thing that works on all platforms in my experience. Get the beeb to license this to Sky/E4/ITV/whoever and then they can all provide whatever streaming they want."

No, dump flash. Use the contracts with Adobe as toilet paper and post the contracts back to them! Provide the video without DRM in an open standard format, and provide the video stream over an open standard. Developers will then do half the job for the BBC et al for essentially free! And most of the other half has already been done.

Flash is awful, just awful. In fact, the whole plug-in system in browsers it pretty awful, but it is especially bad when it comes to video, as you are stuck using the viewer that the content producer wants you to use, you can't use your own choice of player. And you are stuck using the mainstream platforms that the flash plugin is available for, rather than using whatever computing platform the user wants to.

Flash is a security risk to anyone that has it installed, as you are reliant on 1 organisation (who exist ONLY to make money) to fix it when it has problems. And based on their track record, the security issues will be big and very slowly solved, if not just ignored.

Flash also has mechanisms that allow nosey marketers or webmasters to track you quite accurately, and it is not easy to remove the flash equivalent of cookies.

Not to mention that flash is mainly used online for very annoying adverts. 1. I don't want annoying ads in my face and 2. I don't do business with companies that employ annoying forms of advertising. Therefore I have no need to have flash installed for these idiots either.

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Anonymous Coward

obvious solution...

If BBC, ITV and channel 4 are releasing stuff as free to watch and add sponsored then why not just dump the clips on you tube.

easy access available to linux/mobile users best of all you've just offloaded the hosting cost to someone else as well.

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out of touch

This service was doomed anyway, who wants to pay or subscribe to propositions like this?

Free public services such as SurfTheChannel.com, Alluc.org & Sidereel.com all have this space locked up.

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And we all listen ...

... when Sky complain about unfair competition ! NOT.

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Coat

Platforms, Standards and...

Blu-ray is anti-competitive. Do I see whinging about that? No. PAL is a standard for UK SD content. Do I see whinging about that? No. Sky and Virgin are on a hiding to nothing because their business models are about locking people into their distribution model, their platform and their crippled set top boxes.

Meh? I watch less and less tv because it increasingly seems to pander to the lowest common denominator. And films are shit too. Why do I want to watch another Hollywood remake of an old film?

Next it'll be a 3-d prawn version of the Wombles. They will have beautifully rendered fur. But Tobermory will be disciplining Orinoco, Tomsk, Bungo and Wellington is ways that I do not want to imagine. Who lives in a burrow lined with newspaper?

What do Sky and Virgin want? An alternative infrastructure based on speaking tubes or string and cocoa tins?

I tend to think that Kangaroo is a waste of bandwidth. Did like the approach of Top-Up TV transmitting content over freeview in the wee small hours to PVRs. It's a good approach for educational programming and the like. It's the narrowcasting vs broadcasting argument. TV over IP is very nice, but it is a luxury. VoD is nice.

Bah.

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@Paul

"No. Its being run by BBC world wide, not paid for by the licence fee...

Can we have a comentard icon please?"

Read my comment properly.

*Shows* I've paid for which I can't watch. All I'm asking is for a chance to see the content. If the platform takes hold on the BBC, I'm hardly likely to be able to view content any other way. They'll plug it like fcuk as the do with every other BBC money maker.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Dave Edmondston (insert commentard icon here)

"*Shows* I've paid for which I can't watch."

You've still lost the plot. You haven't "paid" for these shows. The BBC paid to rent the rights for a single broadcast on your behalf. If the BBC bought these shows on your behalf the licence fee would be £800 a year.

Hence the entirely reasonable proposition that the people who want permanent copies can pay for the appropriate rights from third party content providers at market rates.

Phazer

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Anonymous Coward

competition etc

Surely the competition should be program quality and content I rarely watch TV these days because the vast majority of broadcast shows are either repeats or abysmal and thats me politely understating the truth.

The actual delivery method the consumer chooses to receive the content is irrelevant. Anything I actually want to watch (with the exception of the few DVD's i purchase) is shown (and usually repeated regularly) on sky which I can CHOOSE to pay for.

The BBC government and watchdogs dont care that almost no wants actually wants the TV licence and cares if the programs contain adverts - to me its now just a tax I have to pay for owning receiving equipment.

If they want to get together to provide centralised delivery method let them, my only concern would regard the bandwidth and even then unless its on demand who's going to sit at the PC and watch something thats also being broadcast on freeview in whats likely to be lower quality.

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Happy

Brilliant idea, killed.

All in one place!

That's a brilliant idea!

SO WHY KILL IT YOU ARSES.

I can understand why, but why can't BBC et al. just make this available for anyone to join, a kind of open framework. Never know, you might even get some non (to air) broadcast channels appearing.

Anonymous Coward RE: @ Dave Edmondston (insert commentard icon here)

What about productions by the BBC?

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I'll watch Coronation Street

When it's going to get zapped by an alien invasion.

That would be interesting.

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