Five signs agreement with Sony for new internet TV Platform

Viewers could soon be able to instantly access their favourite TV shows such as “Neighbours” simply by plugging their TV into their existing broadband connection, following an agreement between Sony and public service broadcaster Five.


Five has become the first British broadcaster to sign an agreement to explore participating in Sony’s new BRAVIA™ Internet Video platform.


It will mean that from early 2010, viewers will potentially be able to access whole episodes of their favourite television programmes from Five, including “Neighbours”, “Home & Away”, “The Hotel Inspector” and “Extraordinary People” via a new range of internet-enabled BRAVIA TVs, Sony Blu-ray Disc Players and Blu-ray home cinema systems.


Five’s agreement with Sony is the latest step in the broadcaster’s ambition to make its long-form video content available as widely as possible. Last month Five became the latest partner in Project Canvas, a joint venture between the BBC, ITV and BT to deliver broadband-connected television to the living room. Five has also begun to embed certain programmes from Demand Five, its proprietary online catch-up TV service, on websites such as Holy Soap and FiveFWD that are aimed at precise demographic groups.


Charles Constable, Director of Strategy, Five, said: “It’s vital for broadcasters and other industry stakeholders to explore such initiatives if they are to gain a solid footing in the digital world.


“As broadband content continues to grow in popularity, Five looks forward to working with Sony to explore and learn from the exciting opportunity to bring on-demand content to the television in the home. We believe this will help us to develop a real understanding of what convergence will mean in practice.”


Nicholas Barendson, Head of Category Marketing, Sony United Kingdom Limited, said:
“In Europe and elsewhere, more people are watching videos on their PCs than ever before. This trend keeps growing and consumers are increasingly enjoying more on demand video online. However, watching full length TV programmes on a PC, hunched over a screen can be a solitary experience.  Bringing on demand IP content to the TV is allowing consumers to share these viewing experiences with a greater degree of ease and simplicity”.


BRAVIA Internet Video will also offer a wide variety of free on-demand short-form video content, with websites such as YouTube and Wired confirmed so far. Users of the service in the United States can already access online video, music, and content from more than 25 providers including Amazon Video On Demand, Netflix and Sony Pictures.


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