TV3’s iPhone app goes live, but will it have the X Factor?

30 Sep 2010

Broadcaster TV3 this week went live with its iPhone catch-up TV app that allows users to watch the company’s home-produced content on their mobile phones. Popular shows like X Factor may be in the running for future iterations.

The app has more than 20 hours of regularly updated video content with programming including The Apprentice, Xpose, Ireland AM, Tonight with Vincent Browne, Midday, The Morning Show as well as TV3 News and 3e’s fyi.

The app was designed for TV3 by Dun Laoghaire-based Furious Tribe, whose CEO Patrick Ledy explained that the technology powering the TV content for the iPhone app was based on the company’s own XVOD technology.

TV3’s head of online Peter Clerkin said the broadcaster was looking at other app formats like the iPad, Android-based devices like the Dell Streak and Samsung Galaxy Tab, as well as the BlackBerry PlayBook, which launched on Monday.

Clerkin explained that the content on the catch-up TV app is mainly programme produced by TV3 that the station has rights to. “Future discussions with providers may stretch to include mobile rights and if that is the case then those programmes will be included in the app.”

He describe the move into mobile apps and mobile catch-up TV as vital to the future of TV in terms of extending its reach to consumers.

New adventures in Wi-Fi

Clerkin said that the app can be downloaded in standard 3G but said it is optimised for viewing content in a Wi-Fi zone.

“We are planning many more app products and for other devices, too. We are the first Irish entertainment company to bring programming to mobile in this way.

“There are other companies out there that focus on news apps only and maybe sports apps, but we’ve got the head start.”

I asked Clerkin if X Factor might make it onto the small screen of the iPhone. “There is a rights issue, of course, that would have to be resolved if we were ever to do that. But there’s no reason why we shouldn’t pursue it.

“There are other things we could do that could be related to programmes like X Factor, like competitions that could be shared through the apps’ interface, so there are possibilities. Stay tuned.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years