The UK's upcoming connected TV platform YouView is eyeing the London 2012 Olympics as well as local TV news services as two areas where it hopes to demonstrate particular value to consumers, according to Kip Meek, Chairman of the venture.
Speaking at a Broadcasting Press Guild lunch earlier this week, Mr. Meek also indicated that the partners behind the venture (the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT, TalkTalk and Arqiva) are in "very early stage discussions" with major US studios regarding the possibility of providing content or full channels on the service.
Mr. Meek painted YouView as having a strong chance of delivering a low-cost version of local TV services to consumers: "It is obvious that using traditional means of distributing it is very, very difficult to make local TV work," he said. "I do not believe YouView will solve all the challenges, but it will bring down the costs. It offers by far the best chance of local TV services making some money or at least washing their faces."
He also highlighted the possibility of mass, interactive coverage of the 2012 Olympics being delivered by YouView, becoming a showcase for the platform's capabilities - something which has previously been mentioned by Richard Halton, Chief Executive of YouView.
The platform is expected to launch in the first half of 2011, although Mr. Meek indicated that there is "anxiety" among shareholders that it will hit this launch window: "This is a race and there is considerable pressure at White City," he said. "This is a serious tech project, a tough, challenging project."
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