Blog Post

New Complaint May Prolong Ofcom’s Canvas Decision

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

IP Vision had always been opposed to the proposed UK connected-TV JV Project Canvas…

But, after Virgin Media (NSDQ: VMED) decided to formalise its objections, in the shape of a competition complaint to Ofcom this month, IP Vision has decided to follow suit itself…

IP Vision has asked Ofcom to rule whether Canvas would break the Competition Act 1998, in a submission in which it says it “already offers a successful, Canvas-like service in the UK with its advanced FetchTV platform”.

Ofcom had been due to consider, within two months, whether it should investigate Virgin Media’s complained, with input from the Office of Fair Trading, with whom Ofcom has concurrent powers over media competition legislation.

But Ofcom tells paidContent:UK it will now also consider the complaint from IP Vision and others on the same basis, meaning a decision on whether to investigate Canvas may now take longer than two months.

IP Vision could have waited until Ofcom might have put any investigation out to consultation, but has clearly decided to double up on Virgin’s complaint to ensure an investigation happens.

Both Virgin Media and IP Vision are exposed by Canvas, which is the creation of an IPTV VOD and pay-TV platform overlaid atop Freeview, but IP Vision in particular…

In FetchTV, the company – which is owned by F&C Reit asset managers, by management and by its box maker NetGem – has a technically powerful box, bundled with iPlayer, 4oD, Sky Player, Discovery and CNN VOD; PVR and excellent media sharing features.

But it has had limited retail traction, available mainly through John Lewis, and now through Carphone Warehouse and Currys online, plus Tesco more recently. The company does not release take-up numbers…

It has been doing some of the things Canvas wants to for a couple of years, but it may end up having done them too soon, in a market not yet ready for connected-TV.