Arqiva announces VOD chief as Kangaroo acquisition completes

• Legal completion of acquisition by Arqiva of Project Kangaroo platform assets

• Pierre-Jean Sebert appointed CEO for new service to be launched in the coming months

• Service to provide high-quality, long-form content from both leading broadcasters and independent content providers

Arqiva has today announced the completion of its acquisition of the platform assets of Project Kangaroo, the video-on-demand (VOD) platform developed by UKVOD LLP, a joint venture set up by BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4.

The hardware and software technology, and related intellectual property, provide the technical basis of a VOD platform designed for a content aggregation service.  Arqiva plans to use the assets to launch a new video-on-demand service to UK consumers in the coming months.  The platform will aim to host top-end, quality content from leading broadcasters and independent content providers with both free-to-air and pay-content propositions.

Arqiva has also confirmed the appointment of Pierre-Jean Sebert as CEO of the new VOD business.  Pierre-Jean was Managing Director UK for Eurosport from 2001 to 2005 and had previously engineered the joint-venture with NTL for the launch of British Eurosport in 1999.  He also oversaw the launch of EurosportNews.  More recently Pierre-Jean has been working as a senior advisor to major media and entertainment companies including Virgin Media, ONO, UKTV, Rainbow Media, UEFA, and Broadcast Australia.

“I’m very much looking forward to leading the launch of this new platform and to establish it as a prominent proposition in the market,” said Pierre-Jean Sebert.  “It’s an important new route for quality long-form content to reach an additional audience, and complements Arqiva’s traditional role in terrestrial broadcasting.  We have rapidly established ourselves operationally and have already made significant progress with our consumer proposition, both in terms of user experience and content acquisition. We will share our vision and progress in due time.”

Steve Holebrook, managing director for Terrestrial Broadcast at Arqiva, said: "We are delighted to announce Pierre-Jean's appointment.  He brings a wealth of experience across the UK media industry and is ideally placed to lead the new venture.  Our focus is now shifting to the business side of the venture and getting ready for the launch of this exciting service."

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