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03/02/2010

BBC's 'Canvas' Almost Finished

Yesterday saw the last day of consultation on the BBC Trust's proposed joint venture with Internet providers, Project Canvas.
Against a background of dissent over the role of the BBC Trust itself, yesterday was the final time that objections could be raised against the initiative.
It aims to deliver an upgrade to the Freeview and Freesat platforms by creating a new receiver and user interface capable of delivering video on-demand and internet-based services.
It's success though depends on industry engagement, costs and other aspects, such as Internet enabled TVs and set top boxes, meaning that the "internet is arriving onto the television".
This is already on the way with a recent agreement to bring BBC iPlayer to connected Samsung TVs, as part of a growing interest in widget-enabled sets.
Canvas will provide a further opportunity for software developers and content publishers.
However, it emerged today that an incoming Conservative government would dissolve the BBC Trust and replace it with a licence fee payers's trust, the Daily Telegraph has reported.
The Trust is led by the Chairman Sir Michael Lyons, who has been at the helm since shortly after its inception in 2007, but he could be replaced by a non-executive chairman who would work alongside Mark Thompson, the Director General, whose term of office expires in 2011.
The Tories believes the shake-up would allow the revamped trust to represent the interests of licence fee payers, who are charged £142.50 a year for the BBC's services.
A spokesman for the BBC Trust said: "We are not going to comment on speculation. What matters to audiences is that they receive quality content and services from the BBC. To that end the Trust and Sir Michael are getting on with the job of getting the best out of the BBC for licence-fee payers."
The BBC's current Royal Charter is not due to expire until the end of 2016. The agreement between the Government and the BBC about the corporation's purpose and remit is traditionally renegotiated every 10 years – alongside the BBC licence fee.
See: BBC's Internet Project Canvas Seeks Partners
(BMcC/GK)
VMI.TV Ltd

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