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Sky backtracks, considers offering content to YouView

Sky spokesman says move 'makes sense'

Sky has backtracked and now claims it is considering offering its content through YouView.

YouView is a BBC-backed venture formerly known as Project Canvas. The TV-on-demand service will see internet-connected set-top boxes offering seven days worth of catch-up TV, along with free archive shows, apps and widgets. TV providers signed up to take part include the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five, while UK ISPs TalkTalk and BT are also on board.

Richard Halton, YouView's chief executive, announced the 16 media companies, which also include Film 4oD and LoveFilm, that have expressed an interest in offering their content through the TV platform, at the Changing Media Summit that was held in London this week.

"We already distribute Sky content across a wide range of platforms. It makes sense for us to continue to explore new ways of reaching customers, but it's too early to say at this stage whether we'll offer a service over YouView," a Sky spokesman said.

Sky's expression of interest comes as a surprise, as initially the broadcaster lodged a complaint with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and Ofcom regarding the service. In the October complaint, Sky has raised concerns over the effect YouView will have on competition; in particular, that members of the project will be unlikely to create innovative TV-on-demand services themselves.

The launch of the service has been delayed twice and is now expected to launch in 2012.

See also: BBC, ITV, Channel 4 & Five launch YouView digital TV

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