Plans have been announced by BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4 to launch a joint on demand content service that will bring together over ten hundred hours of live and archive programming. The service has been given the working title of Kangaroo and is likely to be a major player in the on demand market in the UK. It will also ease the path to VOD for viewers who are being presented with an increasing number of brands and propositions.
Kangaroo will be owned equally by the three partners and will open up its content to third parties, potentially bringing in content from independent producers to which the broadcasters no longer hold the rights themselves, but viewers might still associate with them. The name and brand of the service will be unveiled before launch. Former BSkyB director of channels and operations Lesley MacKenzie has been named as the launch CEO.
The Web-based proposition will also be available for distribution on other platforms and will include both streamed and downloaded content. Viewers will be able to watch content for free, to rent to buy. Kangaroo will sit alongside the broadcasters’ existing platforms, the BBC iPlayer, ITV.com and 4oD.
The plans are subject to formal approval from the BBC Trust and the boards of the individual broadcasters.