YouView presses ahead with plans for 2011 launch

Steve Dinneen
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BBC-backed online TV service YouView stepped up preparations for its launch next year by officially approaching content providers who want to join the venture.

YouView, which will support video and audio streaming as well as web-based apps, is discussing the technical implications of uploading content from disparate providers to a single platform.

Richard Halton, chief executive of YouView, said: “Our ambition is to open up the TV screen to content providers who until now have been unable to build an audience, bringing viewers a brilliant choice of content.

“YouView is creating an open environment for content providers to play in and this will take some technical innovation. To develop the most effective processes for content providers we need to at first work closely with a few that can prove our model and ensure it’s scalable. Our plan is to extend the programme out as we start to build common expertise.”

Ofcom last week gave the green light to the controversial video-on-demand service after declining to launch a competition investigation.

Competitors including Virgin Media and BSkyB have raised concerns it could distort competition in the increasingly important content on-demand market. The platform will allow users to stream on-demand content from a number of providers from a single set-top box. It is backed by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT, TalkTalk, Orange and Arqiva and will allow providers to stream pay-as-you-go as well as free-to-air content.