Analysts Aren’t Buying ‘Anti-Competitive’ Kangaroo Ruling

Some research analysts aren’t convinced by yesterday’s provisional Competition Commission ruling that Project Kangaroo could be anti-competitive – well, not entirely. “The Competition Commission has … misunderstood where the power lies in online content distribution, both paid and free-to-view (ad funded),” said Screen Digest’s broadband analysts Dan Cryan and Arash Amel. “Kangaroo is unlikely to be the most powerful platform for paid online TV because it does not control the leading devices or the platforms that go along with them.”

Forrester/Jupiter broadband analyst Nick Thomas, tweeting personally, said it was “another ruling stopping the BBC develop a product to benefit users”: “The commission don’t seem to understand online video. Pirate sites must be delighted. ‘Competitors’ offer nothing but whinges to regulators.”

But Screen Digest’s pair did say the CC ruling still leaves room for Kangaroo to throttle competition, but only through the commission’s lack of foresight: “Between, Channel and Kangaroo’s core site, there will be little space left in the nascent online TV advertising market for the likes of Five, BSkyB (NYSE: BSY) and MTV. We believe the provisional findings suggest a lack of familiarity with online content markets.

“Any ad-funded Kangaroo platform is likely to mop up the vast majority of premium advertisers because it will dominate the monetisable online TV in the UK – YouTube and the BBC’s iPlayer will continue to attract viewers but not ad spend. This has the potential to stunt the online TV market at a key time in its development as third parties are likely to find it hard, if not impossible to find advertisers willing and able to buy high CPM in-stream advertising in sufficient volumes.”