Olswang helps Microsoft add top C4 shows to Messenger TV roster

Olswang has represented Microsoft on an agreement with Channel 4 to allow users of Windows Live Messenger to watch shows such as Skins and Peep Show online.

Olswang head of internet and commerce Clive Gringas worked on the deal with technology associate Jessica Hanlan. Channel 4 relied on advice from in-house counsel Chris Collings.

Microsoft has recently launched Messenger TV, enabling users to watch video content while chatting with friends.

Hanlan said: “It’s fascinating to help close a transaction that shows the increasing convergence between TV content and internet delivery.

“The key thing with this deal was finding the balance between what the content manager needs and making sure to not overly restrict what the service provider could do with it.”

Windows Live Messenger attracts 14 million unique users a month in the UK alone.

In a similar deal at the end of last year, Reed Smith associate Gregor Pryor advised social networking site Bebo on the launch of an open media content-sharing platform.

The arrangement allowed outlets such as CBS, MTV, Channel 4 and the BBC to share content with Bebo users. DLA Piper partner Maureen Dorney represented Bebo in the US.

Microsoft is a longstanding client of Olswang. Last year the firm advised the company on a major agreement allowing the NHS to use its software.