UK TV Five Pulling Out of £16m Project Canvas

written by: Richard Kastelein

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The BBC is reporting that UK's RTL-backed Five has pulled out of Project Canvas - the development of an internet-connected TV set-top box - a £16m project by partners the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, Arqiva, TalkTalk and now sans' Five which has left.

Five, which has also been put on the chopping block and put up for sale by its parent company RTL, is the smallest broadcaster out of the Project Canvas group of partners, in both size and revenues. Five has said it is reviewing its investment options over the next month and can no longer commit to funding its share of the  project over the next four years and its bow out means the other partners will cover Five’s share of the cost.

Director of Strategy at Five, Charles Constable, told the BBC the channel would "continue to support the objectives of Project Canvas".

"Despite withdrawing our interest in the venture we believe it will be a critical part of our strategy for reaching consumers in the future," he added.

Project Canvas director Richard Halton added that Five had offered "excellent support".

"They share our goal of bringing the benefits of internet-connected TV to all. We look forward to working with them as a content provider to the platform in the future."

The project, which received BBC Trust approval last month, is said to be to still be on track for launch in the first half of 2011, despite the loss of Five.

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