YouView Spent Almost £20m In Nine Months

The much-delayed video-on-demand service YouView spent almost £20 ($30.89)m in its first nine months of operation and paid more than £1 ($1.54)m to staff.
YouView, the troubled joint venture backed by the BBC, ITV (LSE: ITV), TalkTalk, Channel 4, Channel 5 and BT (NYSE: BT), received £20.2 ($31.2)m from shareholders in the period from 8 July 2010 to 31 March the following year.
During that time YouView, which has struggled to develop a viable set-top box to take to market ahead of a delayed target date of the London Olympics, has spent £19.74 ($30.5)m.
The first Companies House filing for YouView shows that £14.5 ($22.4)m was notched up as “cost of sales”, which refers to money spent on developing the product as it as yet has no set-top boxes to sell.
A further £5.2 ($8.03)m was spent on “administrative expenses”. YouView spent £1.1 ($1.69)m on staff, which numbered 15 at the time.
The highest-paid director who was chairman Kip Meek, who has since left the venture, received £97,000 ($149832.04) for less than eight months’ work.
Operations officially commenced with the signing of a shareholder agreement on 10 September 2010.
In February last year YouView confirmed that the launch will be delayed until “early 2012”, with the London Olympics set as a hard deadline for hitting the high street.
The company has been beset by development issues with set-top box partner Technicolor pulling out in March last year, the departure of Meek and the axing of nearly all staff involved in PR and marketing.
Lord Sugar replaced Meek as chairman last March at the urging of shareholder Richard Desmond.
TalkTalk is the only venture partner to have revealed any details of a potential launch timeline, announcing in November that it will run a public trial probably from the end of March or early April.
YouView’s partners have committed to each paying an equal share of a £115 ($177.63)m budget covering development, launch and the first four years of its operation. The marketing budget is £48.4 ($74.76)m.

This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.