Channel 4 joins Web TV project Canvas

U.K. broadband on-demand Internet TV platform

LONDON -- Channel 4 has become the final terrestrial broadcaster to join the U.K. broadband Internet platform Project Canvas, announcing Wednesday that it will be a partner in the on-demand TV service that hopes to launch commercially next year.

Canvas, which still faces regulatory scrutiny, is an alliance of the BBC, ITV, Five, British Telecom, broadband platform Talk Talk and now Channel 4 -- that aims to offer subscription-free online television over broadband.

The deal is non-exclusive, giving Channel 4 the option of signing similar content deals with other online platforms. Earlier this year the broadcaster became the first broadcaster in the world to sign a long-form content agreement with YouTube, a move recently followed by RTL Group-owned U.K. terrestrial network Five.

"IPTV is set to become the next generation of TV and if Channel 4 is to continue to enhance its importance in a fully converged world it is key to be part of driving Project Canvas," said Channel 4 director of strategy Gill Pritchard.

"We believe that Project Canvas is an important development that will bring considerable benefits to all viewers, increasing the accessibility of on-demand content for everyone, not just the technologically savvy."