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Five rejoins Canvas

UK commercial channel Five is to rejoin the BBC-led Project Canvas connected TV joint-venture following its recent acquisition by Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell.

The move, which was widely expected, sees the number of joint-venture partners return to seven, including the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, TalkTalk and Arqiva.

Under previous owner RTL, Five withdrew from the Canvas consortium in July as a cost-cutting measure, following its decision not to launch an HD service on the UK’s Freeview digital-terrestrial platform.

“Project Canvas is set to shape the future of broadcasting and open up new and exciting possibilities for viewers,” said Desmond. “This is important to the future of Channel Five and having an open internet-connected TV platform fits closely with our plans to bring brilliant new content and interactive services to viewers. We’re delighted to renew Channel Five’s commitment to supporting Project Canvas following a review of our digital strategy.” 

Richard Halton, Project Canvas’s director, said, “Channel Five has already made a major contribution to Project Canvas and we’re delighted to have them back on board. This is great recognition of how important Canvas is to the future of television.”