GAMES CONSOLE MAKER Sony's Playstation 3 (PS3) boxes are about to start streaming British commercial telly content this week.
Sony's games consoles will start showing ITV and Channel 4 shows such as Coronation Street and The Inbetweeners in a move that is being heralded as another another sign of the convergence between traditional media and the Internet.
The ITV Player and Channel 4's on demand (4oD) service will be available to PS3 users who have broadband. The BBC's Iplayer service has been available on the PS3 console since last year.
ITV was not happy to push into online services when Michael Grade took charge. It had rejected deals with Yougube and Hulu, the US on-demand service that has been looking at a UK launch. It has also made its catch-up TV service available only on Virgin Media, BT Vision and, soon, Freesat.
As a result views of its video content have been falling and chief executive, Adam Crozier, has admitted that the service is nowhere near "punching its weight".
Sarah Rose, director of commercial business development at Channel 4, told The Guardian that this is the first time the broadcaster has found that a games console maker is ready to be a partner. "
The Vole's Xbox carries only TV shows from Sky's Skyplayer on its subscription package, but apparently there have been no Voles knocking on Channel Four's door looking for deals.
The Nintendo Wii, which has only the BBC Iplayer signed up, is unlikely to be a partner any time soon because it can't carry adverts, Rose said. µ