ABC trials PS3 catch-up TV

Rose Major

ABC TV, Australia’s public service broadcaster, is linking with Sony for a trial which will offer the ABC iView catch-up TV service through Sony’s PlayStation3 gaming console.

Due to launch later this year, Australians with a PS3 will be able to watch ABC iView optimised on their TV through the PS3’s PlayStation Network, the company’s oline content and service platform. ABC iView is a free internet broadcasting service offering a range of ABC TV programmes streamed in high resolution. There are currentkly over 300 programmes available on-demand. In July 2009, iView averaged 764,00 visits with 47% of users visiting more than once.

Until now, ABC iView has only been available via PCs, but the new service will effectively create a TV-on-demand platform for ABC content. The non-exclusive trial is the first in a series of developments aimed at extending ABC iView to a wider audience. ABC TV is currently in discussions with a number of other companies about making iView accessible on other platforms.

Kim Dalton, ABC’s Director of Television, said: “We want to make our content as accessible as possible to our audience. Increasingly, that means extending our online reach so Australians can watch what they want, when they want it. Today’s gaming consoles, televisions and dvd players all have internet capability and we’re excited to be able to team up with Sony Playstation, as the first step in integrating ABC TV content into new online platforms and technologies.”

The trial is also part of Sony Computer Entertainment’s plans to extend the entertainment functionality of the PS3 console to include optimised catch-up TV. The PS3 has an internet-enabled browsert and video playback function that allows its users to play videos while navigating options with the PS3 game controller.