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Channel 5 rejoins Project Canvas

New owner Richard Desmond reverses decision not to join the BBC-led venture following a review of th

Channel 5, which withdrew from Project Canvas in June as it was not ready to bear its £16m share of costs, has rejoined the BBC-led venture.

The channel's new owner Richard Desmond is understood to have reversed the earlier decision taken by its former owner RTL, following a review of its digital strategy.

Desmond, who bought the broadcaster in a £103.5m deal last month, noted that the venture was "set to shape the future of broadcasting" and was also important to the future of Channel 5.

He added that an open internet-connected TV platform would fit with plans to bring new content and interactive services to viewers.

Project Canvas director Richard Halton added that "Channel 5 has already made a major contribution to Project Canvas and we're delighted to have them back on board. This is great recognition of how important Canvas is to the future of television."

The internet TV venture, whose other partners include the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, Talk Talk and Arqiva, is set to launch next year under the brand name YouView.