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As Rose Departs, Is YouView in Trouble?

by David Mercer | 12月 08, 2010

At 4.30 yesterday afternoon I wished Anthony Rose well for 2011. He agree it was going to be an exciting time, as YouView moves into the launch phase, and gave no indication that within a few hours he would be stepping down from his high profile CTO role. Rose had just given another presentation on the progress of YouView, the broadband TV joint venture "spearheaded" by the BBC. As YouView's figurehead Rose, in a short time, had become a star attraction on the conference circuit, and I dare say a fair proportion of the packed audience (by no means just from the UK) at Informa's OTT TV World Forum were there primarily to listen to his latest update on the project's progress. In a one-to-one discussion after the panel, I had been asking Rose about the potential compatibility between the YouView system and hbbtv, the broadband TV standard being deployed in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. I'll bring more on this subject at another time, together with the views of hbbtv itself. During the Q&A one or two people noted the challenges of getting YouView to publish its guidance documents in a timely fashion. One questioner noted that he had learnt more about YouView in ten minutes of listening to Anthony than from reading hundreds of pages of documentation. Rose admitted that keeping the project on schedule, as well as meeting the information demands of multiple external stakeholders, had proved challenging. Today's news stories are suggesting that Rose was not considered capable of managing YouView as it moves towards the commercial deployment phase. He will stay on in "an advisory role", but this hardly smacks of a vote of confidence. Advice is one thing: the responsibility for taking decisions will clearly rest on new shoulders. YouView is inevitably putting a gloss on the development, which will come as a shock to many in the IPTV industry. Management turmoil is rarely a good thing, so if YouView is to meet its ambitious mid-2011 launch target it needs to rally the troops and have its new managers get the word out that they understand and can meet the challenges ahead, without losing the vision which Anthony brought to the project. Many YouView doubters remain; the battle with Sky and Virgin rumbles on, and a lot more water will flow under the bridge before the next phase in television's evolution becomes a commercial reality. Client Reading: Profiling the Connected Media Consumer - UK Add to Technorati Favorites
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