Virgin Media, BSkyB paint an ugly picture of Project Canvas

Virgin Media (Nasdaq: VMED) and BSkyB would like to see Project Canvas, the Internet TV joint venture developed by BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Talk Talk and Arquiva, left blank.

Virgin is the more aggressive of the two conventional cable TV providers, filing an official complaint to media watchdog group Ofcom and petitioning the Office of Fair Trading to step in.

BskyB is reportedly "still considering its options" about how far to take its opposition.

Virgin maintains that the Project Canvas partners have reneged on a pledge of creating a set of open standards for next gen TV that will leave non-Canvas partners out of the mix. A Canvas spokeswoman demurred, noting that the group "will create an open standards-based Internet-connected TV environment within which competition and innovation can flourish."

Project Canvas opponents including Virgin have pointed to the Google Android mobile phone as the standard for openness rather than having something determined by a group of partners who account for about 66 percent of television viewing in the UK and over half of the broadband market. Ofcom would only confirm that it received Virgin's complaint and would assess it to determine whether more investigation is needed.

For more:
- the Guardian has this story
- and the Independent this story

Related articles:
Canvas names STB partners
Virgin flogs BBC Trust, Canvas