Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hulu To Step Into Kangeroo Void

Its ironic that the day that news broke that Orange has decided not to acquire the technology that was developed for Project Kangaroo, Hulu announced it was coming to the UK in September.

Kangaroo was the UK video on demand venture service proposed jointly by the UK broadcasters BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4, to position themselves in a global market and fully online. The service and some may say naively squashed by the government when it decided it wasn’t part of their Digital Britain plans and raised competition concerns. It emerged that Orange was considering making a purchase of Kangaroo's underlying IPTV technology for its Orange TV services in France and elsewhere in Europe, but now that is no more.

Hulu, the free online video-on-demand service backed by News Corp, NBC Universal and Disney, doesn’t face the same governmental controls and is set to launch in Britain in September 2009, with 3,000 hours of American content and ITV and Channel 4 as content partners. Hulu is also understood to be in talks with the BBC.

So rather than have a strong UK service we now all fall in with a very strong US one. It beggars belief what the legacy of this UK government will finally be but good decision making will not be high on many peoples lists.

It is rumoured that negotiations have paused due to Hulu wishing to retain control over Channel 4’s and ITV’s advertising sales on the platform. Who will give in and what ad model will prevail is unclear but it’s a shame that a UK solution was scuppered in the first place.

No comments: