YouView shareholders mull funding options

BT Vision YouView box

BT Vision YouView box

The partners behind UK connected TV platform YouView are reportedly eyeing a substantially smaller sum of funding for their next partnership agreement relating to the platform. 

According to a Financial Times report, the next agreement between YouView’s seven partners is likely to include an investment of “millions of pounds each” but less than the £20 million they each pledged for the project’s initial four-year period – which is due to end in March.

The report claims that the BBC in particular is keen to scrutinise costs and is keen for a cheaper, stripped down, version of existing YouView boxes to launch at a price of around £50 or less.

Discussions between YouView’s partners are expected to conclude by the end of the year after being extended from September, said the FT. The project is backed by broadcasters the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, as well as ISPs BT and Talk Talk and technology and infrastructure firm Arqiva.

Earlier this year the BBC’s governing body, the BBC Trust, launched a review into the BBC’s involvement in YouView, focusing on topics such as whether the BBC’s involvement in the scheme has impacted on other public service broadcasters’ approaches to making their content available to other platforms, and the way in which YouView is promoted by its partners.

In August, broadcast organisation Digital UK said that YouView has had applications for more than 130 new IP channels “which is expects to launch in the next year”.