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ITV and Channel 4 to stream video content through PS3

ITV and Channel 4 to launch their players this weekend for Playstation 3 users with broadband access

Owners of Sony's PlayStation 3 gaming consoles who have broadband access will soon be able to watch ITV and Channel 4 shows on the system, in addition to the BBC's iPlayer, which is already available on the PS3.

The Guardian reports that the ITV Player and Channel 4's VoD service will be launched on the PS3 this week, thus bringing commercial TV video content from the three major TV platforms in the UK for the first time on the gaming console.

Earlier, ITV was reluctant to offer its shows online via other companies' products and services and had rejected deals with YouTube and US service Hulu. However, the broadcaster is now looking to increase its streaming user base with the aid of Sony's home console. As of now, its catch-up TV service is available only on Virgin Media, BT Vision and Freesat.

ITV was also looking to broadcast its shows such as Coronation Street and Emmerdale on internet-enabled TV sets, tablet computers such as the iPad and other gaming consoles.

Alan Duncan, marketing director for PlayStation in the UK, said ITV and Channel 4 could expect an increase in traffic of about 10 per cent from users watching shows via the PS3. About 4m homes in the UK have these gaming consoles out of which 80 per cent of owners are connected to its broadband-enabled service.

Duncan said Sony would also promote the availability of ITV and Channel 4 content to PS3 owners.

Meanwhile, Sarah Rose, director of commercial business development at Channel 4, did not rule out a tie-up with Microsoft's Xbox, which only carries TV shows from BSkyB's SkyPlayer on its subscription package.