project-canvasThe BBC Trust has revealed that joint venture Project Canvas, which aims to create a new open standard for IP-connected TV devices, will cost over £115m in its first four years of operation.
According to figures provided by BBC management, the total cost of designing, launching and maintaining the project over a four-year period will stand at £115.6m, including £48.4m being spent on marketing the new platform.

As previously suggested, all four current partners – BBC, ITV, BT and Five – will bear an equal share of the cost, equating to £24.7m. However, the BBC is looking to bring on two further partners to bring the cost down to £16.4m each.
The corporation also expects to recoup £17m in “cost recovery” over the four-year period from a variety of revenue streams on the platform.
Over £715,000 has already been spent by the BBC on its lengthy Canvas submission to the Trust, including recently supplying additional information on the core specifications following requests from industry stakeholders.
The latest cost report is part of a revised governance structure for the project, most notably that non-public service broadcasters can now take an equal share in the venture.

Last month, Sky criticised the PSB bias in Canvas’s membership, and also expressed concern that the project will use public money to distort competition in the nascent market for broadband-enabled set top boxes.
In the initial Canvas submission, PSBs were designated as holding a 66% controlling stake in the not-for-profit project, with a 33% share held by partner ISPs.
However, the Canvas partners today told the Trust that the PSB majority ownership rule has been removed, meaning that any partners joining the project will get an equal share and voting rights, regardless of their public or commercial status.

“The canvas platform will deliver a wide range of benefits, and safeguarding the future of public service broadcasting is a key factor for all the PSBs, as it was when we set up Freeview,” said Canvas programme director Richard Halton.
“But it is equally important that the Canvas platform plays an enabling role for commercial operators in the digital media sector, by providing them with a route to the shared screen. We want to offer any potential new partners an equal share of voice in the new venture.”

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By Expat