Free-To-Air TV To Launch A VOD Service For TVs Next Year?

According to a report by Paul McIntyre in the Age this morning, Freeview and ABC head honcho Kim Dalton is pushing hard for the free-to-air TV stations to launch a video on demand service that actually delivers content direct to TV screens. Colour me VERY excited.

Obviously, the ball has already started rolling in this direction with the ABC announcing a special version of iView for the PS3 scheduled for later this year. But the idea that all the free-to-air networks will also begin offering their content through a single portal.

Mr Dalton reckons that we should have these kinds of services in Australia next year. But as much as I like the sound of that, I think the reality will be a bit further away. Considering you’ve got both Nine and Seven starting to push their own VOD through their respective MSN and Yahoo! portals, not to mention iView on the PS3, Seven’s TiVo and its VOD offering… the logistics of getting all the networks to agree on a singular format will be a real challenge.

On top of that, there’s also the question of who will pay for this content. Will it be subscription based, advertiser driven, or some horrible combination of the two? Knowing the FTA networks, they’ll probably push for intrusive ads every 5 minutes of a show, which will completely take away the appeal.

Still, if the networks are even thinking about this kind of way to give us punters the entertainment we want when we want it, then maybe they’re not as out of touch as we always thought…

[The Age]