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Variety is reporting that the hugely delayed UK Connected TV service Youview has hired Lord Alan Sugar by the consortium of backing broadcasters to save ailing internet connected set-top box venture, YouView.
Appmarket.tv recently reported the project was set back six months and is expected to rollout well into 2012. And Youview has had it's detractors, including Sky, Virgin Media, IP Vision, Six TV, United For Local Television and the Open Source Consortium who have all called for Ofcom to shut it down. The delay has also meant that BSkyB and Virgin Media have been able to bow their own connected TV offerings.
In a statement Meek said:
"It has been apparent for some time that the YouView board would benefit from additional expertise in consumer marketing and technology delivery. Lord Sugar clearly supplies this. As the venture progresses toward launch, the change in chairman makes sense. I wish Lord Sugar well."
Speaking on behalf of the initiative's stockholders, Charles Dunstone, chairman of TalkTalk, said:
"Lord Sugar's experience in delivering set-top box technology to the consumer is unrivalled and we are delighted that he will be with us as we introduce a new, enhanced television experience to homes across the UK."
Similar broadcast-backed connected TV initiatives exist on the continent with the French and the Germans have been working on a fully Open Source Solution called HbbTV (Dutch public broadcasters are also using the platform) and NHK, Japan’s national broadcaster, has its own hybrid broadcast broadband called ‘Hybridcast’.