15.00 Update. The BBC Trust has rejected plans to create an online federation, using the BBC iPlayer to give access to content from public service broadcasters, through a combination of commercial and public service elements.
The plans known as Project Marquee would have given free access to the iPlayer technology to ITV, Channel 4 and Five. In a statement the Trust said that while it supported the principal of sharing the iPlayer more widely, the BBC would have to find simpler ways to achieve this.
Diane Coyle, BBC Trustee and Chair of the Trust’s Strategic Approvals Committee said the Trust believed that access to the technology behind the iPlayer could be useful to other broadcasters and it supported the BBC’s aim of sharing the benefits. “We will look again at future public service models for the online delivery of programming as part of the strategic review now in progress. In the meantime, the Trust is open to considering an alternative proposal for the licensing of the iPlayer technology to third parties if that can be done on a simple, fair and commercial basis.”
Although this not the first time that a plan to unify public service content has fallen foul of the regulator – Kangaroo rejected by Competition Commission in February 2009 – this project relates to live content as opposed to that outside of the catch-up window.
At IBC in September, BBC Future Media director Erik Huggers outlined plans to make an Open iPlayer commercially available. These separate proposals were sent to the BBC Trust for approval on September 29.