Channel Five pulls out of Project Canvas

Broadcaster says project costing £115 over first four years is not a priority.

Channel Five, one of the seven partners in Project Canvas, has quit the project/partnership.

The broadcaster, which has been put up for sale by its owner RTL, has said that it is reviewing its digital strategy and does not consider the project as a priority.

The BBC Trust has asked the seven partners to share the development costs during the first four years, amounting to £115.6m.

A source revealed that the broadcaster found it difficult to convince Bertelsmann (RTL's majority owner) to commit to funding its share of the £16m project over the next four years.

It is now likely that Five's share will be funded by the project's other partners, the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4 and TalkTalk.

However, Five's director of strategy, Charles Constable, said despite withdrawing their interest in the venture, it will be a critical part of their strategy to reach consumers in the future.