ITV has signalled its intention to make its content available on a cross-platform basis, adding the ITV Player to PlayStation 3, and confirming the catch-up service’s much-anticipated Freesat launch.
The deal is one of a series struck by Sony with European broadcasters that also include TV3 (Spain), Animax (Germany), YLE (Finland) and NOS (Netherlands). Australia’s Seven Network will also be available in that country.
ITV will join the BBC iPlayer, which has been available on the Sony games console since September 2009. It is expected that content from the commercial broadcaster will be available before the end of the year. PlayStation users will be invited to take a software upgrade before using the service.
Launched in July 2007, ITV Player provides catch-up TV for 30 days following the initial transmission. It is ad funded through pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll commercials. Its Freesat service, initially expected to launch in the first half of 2010, will now debut in the autumn.
“Our viewers want the option to watch their favourite content when and where they choose so distributing the ITV Player, with our rich content, to platforms beyond itv.com will allow us to meet that demand,” said Fru Hazlitt, managing director of commercial and online, ITV. “We’re really excited that they will soon be able to access the ITV Player on demand through the PS3 platform.”
ITV Player provides content from ITV1, ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4. Strictly speaking ITV1 is only available in England and Wales as separate TV services run in Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Channel Islands. The broadcasters take the majority of their content from ITV.
Under the terms of the deal with Sony UTV, STV and Channel TV will be able to add their own equivalent services so they are also accessible from the PS3 platform on a similar basis to ITV Player.