U.K. telco giant BT became the latest company to express its concern over Kangaroo, the video-on-demand joint venture created by the BBC Worldwide, ITV and the U.K.'s Channel 4. What raised the ire of BT and several video service providers and broadcasters was Kangaroo's initial plan to hold exclusive rights to content commissioned by its shareholding firms, which critics claim would give the new company too much control over the developing video-on-demand market.
Kangaroo pulled back on those plans, and The Financial Times reported that Kangaroo, "is now likely to allow other online services to show catch-up TV, the most popular shows for on-demand viewing," and would retain syndication rights for 30 days after transmission. However, critics want assurances all content will be priced and available on a fair basis.
BT, according to C21 Media.net, fears that Kangaroo will adversely affect competition. The telco is in an especially vulnerable position because, with 280,000 customers, its IPTV service is still somewhat small. Also, BT already is facing a growing competitive threat from the likes of France Telecom's Orange and O2, which is planning to grow a TV customer base in the U.K. market.
Orange last month looked set to launch IPTV in the U.K.
O2 also reportedly has wanted to offer IPTV in the U.K.