Free video-on-demand from YouView gets green light from Ofcom

YouView-logo Video-on-demand on our tellies is a step closer today after Ofcom gave the thumbs up to YouView. Formerly known as Project Canvas, it’s the brainchild of the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Talk Talk and BT and will bring programming into Freeview households with broadband acess.

Ofcom had studied the proposed service following objections from Virgin Media and BSkyB (among others), who had stamped their feet and huffed and puffed a bit, claiming that it would be an anti-competitive cartel. But Ofcom have ignored their strop, which is almost certainly a good thing for viewers.

Ofcom said that: “It is likely that YouView will bring benefits to viewers and consumers. Any potential harm to competition would need to be offset against these benefits.” All of which means that YouView should be launching in the first half of 2011, allowing us to access a treasure trove of programming via our Freeview boxes, and all free of charge.

Which, as far as we’re concerned, is almost as important as the invention of the lightbulb. Isn’t it?


  • The B.
    Hmmm, but what about Freesat viewers?
  • DragonChris
    But, isn't on-demand typically a pay per view service? If so how can it be free? Or, are we going to be able to actually select what we want to watch for... free?
  • tin
    Thank christ for that!
  • Nobby
    Hmmm, just had a look at their webpage. In the images, they show Dr Who, that celebrity dancing programme or X-factor or something like that with a panel of twats, Peep Show, Grand Designs, and more Peep Show. I don't like Dr Who, or the crap they put on on ITV or BBC on saturday nights. I've got all of Peep Show on DVD anyway (except latest series) and get Grand Designs on freeview anyway. They are going to have to show something good for me to fork out for another box. If I can watch it online, there is no point of a new box for me. I'll just stream it.
  • Chris F.
    so basically, it's pooling together iplayer, itv player and 4od and whatever replay web service channel 5 has, but farming it straight to your TV rather than through a PC/PS3/Xbox/Wii? don't see why Sky/Virgin would be so arsey about that, it's no different to their existing on demand services or sky having sky player on xbox.
  • zleet
    @chris F Because Sky would much rather you pay them to watch online content rather than get it free.

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