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YouView in danger of becoming obsolete

15 Mar 2011  |  Liz Jaques 

A new report suggests that YouView - the VoD venture backed by partners including the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, is in danger of becoming obsolete before it has even launched.

In January, the Daily Mail claimed that YouView was facing 'technical difficulties' and would be forced to delay its launch from the summer to the end of the year, though recent reports suggest that 2012 is a more likely bet.

The Business Insights report believes this delay could be costly, to say the least, as the venture will be overtaken by new technologies and services before it even comes to market.

At one stage, YouView was expected to be the catalyst for connected TV services, but as Tony Glover, the author of the report, says: "Two years is a long time in internet terms".

"The fact that the launch date for YouView has been pushed back from an original deadline of 2010 to 2012 indicates big roll-out problems," Glover said. "The initiative is in danger of becoming obsolete as a result of this long launch delay.

"YouView has much in its favour and has the opportunity to steal a march on bigger competitors by offering a superior service that is also easy to access by the mass consumer market. However, there is a major issue in the continued delay of the launch of the project, which could render it obsolete. In addition, having so many major players involved could lead to disagreements and the inability to forge a clear business strategy and stick to it."

The consortium of companies backing YouView, which include the BBC, ITV, BT, Talk Talk and Arqiva, are investing more than £115 million in its development.

Sources believe the partners underestimated the technical barriers surrounding the on-demand service, while others have said that a launch date of summer 2011 was an over-optimistic deadline.

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