Berkett described Canvas as an excellent concept were it to be open, and that he would be prepared to include it in Virgin’s line-up, if it was presented along similar lines to a YouTube. “We need to embrace over the top, but I have one exception, that I feel strongly about, and that’s Canvas,” he told the Cable, Content, Google: A Cocktail For Success? session. “It is so confusing and the Trust has taken a position, if you look at their consultation, that is an absolute whitewash in terms of any form of governance.”
Berkett objects to proposals to force all broadcasters to use a single brand controlled by the BBC and his partners, which he claims will penalise commercial rivals. He thinks the BBC Trust should have addressed concerns to prevent the BBC emerging as the de facto gatekeeper of the digital world.”The Trust is incapable of regulating the BBC’s activities in an objective way”.
Besides the BBC, Project Canvas is backed by ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, BT and TalkTalk. Earlier, BSkyB has also attacked the consultation, and the Digital TV Group (DTG) has told the BBC Trust that the joint venture partners in Project Canvas are still failing to engage with the industry. (See Broadband TV News passim).