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Wii TV: Stuff of TV producers' nightmares?

Nintendo is bringing television to the Wii in Japan and striking fear in the hearts of TV networks.

Nintendo announced in December that it was working with Japan's Dentsu to bring video to the Wii video game console. And not just any video, but cartoons and original programming. Strategically, this a great move--trying to get the Wii to become the center of the digital living room.

The Times Online reports "the Wiinoma channel is expected to deliver a family- oriented blizzard of cartoons, "brain-training" quizzes, cookery, educational and other lifestyle shows: all of it original content produced exclusively for Nintendo."

News of Nintendo's move into broadcasting is likely to fill executives of many traditional television companies with dread. One senior executive at Fuji Television, Japan's biggest commercial broadcaster, told The Times that if plans by Satoru Iwata, the Nintendo president, to make the Wii "the centerpiece of the living room" took off in a meaningful way, Nintendo's ambitions were "the stuff of television producers' nightmares".

The prospect of content deliberately tailored by Nintendo for its audience, he said, could cause a deep dent in prime-time viewing figures and comes as Japanese broadcasters are being pilloried for relying too heavily on repeats and celebrity formats.

While I am sure producers will initially be concerned, this would seem to be a huge opportunity for them to deliver content and advertising. The big question mark is whether or not Nintendo will open the Wii up to content outside of their own network.