ITV Dumps Screenvision Stake to Hone in on Multi-Platform Broadcasting

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Companies and Markets is reporting that ITV has agreed to sell its 50 per cent stake in cinema advertising business Screenvision which will be sold to US private equity fund Shamrock Capital for $80m in order to pay off the broadcaster's debts.

ITV CEO Adam Crozier endorsed the deal, stating:

"This is another important step for ITV as we progress our transformation plan to focus the business on its core objectives of UK multi-platform broadcasting and global content."

ITV have recently teamed up with a number of leading UK broadcasters and broadband providers in order to launch YouView (formerly Project Canvas), a new subscription-free, web-connected TV service. The joint venture sees ITV working with competitors including BBC, Channel 4 and Five in order to give users access to on-demand services such as the BBC iPlayer and ITV Player through the television. This is in direct competition to Sky who has their own similar technology.

The venture could bode well for ITV's fortunes, as a recently published report, "The Future of Video Content Convergence: Consumer engagement opportunities in multi-platform video and over-the-top TV", has suggested that broadband users are not interested in device convergence, being much more interested in content convergence. This could mean that there will be a high demand for YouView when it is released in the first half of 2011. The YouView venture is seen as a strong bid as it includes as high number of well known partners including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT, TalkTalk, and Arquiva; partners which are seen by the industry as strong players in providing media content across the online and more traditional television mediums.



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