Five is pulling out of Canvas ahead of a review of its digital investment strategy. In a statement the remaining partners said the project would continue with the backing of the BBC, BT, ITV, Channel 4, Talk Talk and Arqiva.
“We continue to support the objectives of Project Canvas and despite withdrawing our interest in the venture we believe it will be a critical part of our strategy for reaching consumers in the future,” said Charles Constable, director of strategy at Five, in a statement that could just as easily been issued when Five first announced its involvement one year ago.“We’ve had excellent support from Five,” added Richard Halton, director, Project Canvas. “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.”
Five’s digital strategy review comes as owner RTL puts the terrestrial network up for sale.
In recent months the channel has turned down the opportunity to broadcast a high definition service on the Freeview HD platform, announcing just days later that Five HD would be made available exclusively on Sky.
Project Canvas is looking to create a standards based, open internet-connected TV environment. It proposes to offer viewers seamless access to both linear and video-on-demand, web-based content, HD, and interactive services over the internet direct to the TV.