The Project Kangaroo JV has left the door open to deals with rival VOD platforms that could see it take a proportion of their download sales. An updated description of the proposed service, handed to the Competition Commission today, says: “Where (Kangaroo) provides services to or through third-party platforms, transactional arrangements will be between the consumer and the third party with (Kangaroo) separately receiving financial benefit from the platform.”
So far, the JV comprises only BBC Worldwide, ITV (LSE: ITV) and Channel 4, but rivals’ clamour about it operating as a “cartel” is likely to lead to it being asked to open up. Separately, there has always been commercial opportunity in content syndication. The document wording suggests Kangaroo may either look to sell its shows through third-party sites or, vice versa, sell others’ content through its own storefront – with the JV taking a cut of the sale price.
Kangaroo will offer TV shows free with ad support, commercially via PPV and also buy-to-own. BBC, ITV and C4 will sell their own ads against their own programmes on the site – hence Kangaroo’s argument the trio will continue to compete with each other. But there will also be a second tier of Kangaroo ads, sold centrally by its ad clearing house. The Competition Commission expects to publish its preliminary findings in November and give its final verdict before mid-January.