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Arqiva acquires Kangroo technology

Broadcast services provider Arqiva has confirmed that it will acquire the technology behind Project Kangaroo, and will launch its own online on-demand service in the UK.

The assets involved in the deal, believed to be worth about £8m (€9.3m), include hardware and software technology, along with related intellectual property developed for the Project Kangaroo service. They will provide the technical basis for Arqiva to launch a VOD platform designed to operate as a content aggregation service, with a variety of content from a range of sources being made available.

Arqiva said it would use the Project Kangaroo assets to launch a new video-on-demand service to UK consumers “in the coming months”. It will host high quality content from broadcasters and independent content owners. Arqiva said it would offer free-to-air and pay content on the platform.

Kangaroo, a joint venture between the BBC’s commercial arm BBC Worldwide and broadcasters ITV and Channel 4, was blocked by the Competition Commission earlier this year. Since then, the parties have been trying to sell the technology that underpinned the service, with plans to split any proceeds. BBC Worldwide recently announced that its involvement in the venture cost £9.1m. France Telecom had been interested in acquiring the technology but pulled out of negotiations in May.