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ITV Player to charge for online telly before the end of the year

The only pay is Essex, according to ITV, which will test payments for its online services before the end of the year. In the meantime, ITV Player catch-up is available today on freesat.

The only pay is Essex, according to ITV. The broadcaster will test payments for its online services before the end of the year, but in the meantime ITV Player catch-up is now available for free on freesat.

ITV Player lets you catch up with shows from ITV, ITV 2, ITV 3 and ITV 4, including Emmerdale, Corrie, The Only Way is Essex and the Jeremy Kyle Show. There's some good stuff on there too, we're sure.

ITV bosses believe fans of quality programmes such as Cops with Cameras, Homes Under the Hammer and Dinner Date will be so keen to get their latest fix of alliterative docu-tosh they'll pay for the privilege. Hey, alliteration is fun!

ITV plans to test micropayments before the end of the year to find out what people are prepared to pay for, and how much. ITV's online video is growing -- 180 million videos played in the first half of the year -- but the channel wants to cut down its reliance on pre-roll ads, those adverts that play before your programme starts.

ITV is involved in YouView, the standard for online telly currently being developed by the five terrestrial channels and a handful of Internet service providers. ITV catch-up and on-demand will be available via YouView, but it does involve getting yet another set-top box -- and ITV will charge for watching.

The three terrestrial commercial channels recently suffered a blow in the online space in their fight with TVCatchup. The High Court ruled TVCatchup is within the law to stream live telly online, although the case continues in European court.

You'll find ITV Player on Channel 903 on your freesat box, if you have a Humax box. Other freesat set-top boxes will get ITV Player in coming months. The service is also available on the PlayStation 3 and your iPhone or iPad and Android phone or tablet with a free app.

Update: We've spoken to ITV about the plans for payments, which at this stage don't include catch-up. The online telly you'll need to pay for is likely to include webisodes and other extra content rather than stuff that has already been aired.

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