Duo ink deal to allow service for gaming units

Sony Computer Entertainment France and Gallic pay TV giant Canal Plus Group have inked a pioneering deal under which the CanalPlay video-on-demand service will be made available to Sony PlayStation Portable users in France.

While some content has been available for Japanese PSPs, the  deal, which kicks in June 18, is a first for VOD services provided by a leading TV operator on PSP.

News Corp.’s British satcaster BSkyB will reportedly launch a similar on-demand service for PSP owners by the end of this month.

Canal Plus will encrypt its CanalPlay offerings of 4,000 programs, including 2,500 movies, employing Sony’s DRM system. 

Without prior subscription to Canal Plus, PSP consumers will be able to download the programs via a special service and then view them on their PlayStation Portables.

The deal is highly attractive to both partners.

“It provides Sony with quite an appealing content proposition for their portable device, in addition to the games,” said Dan Cryan of media analyst Screen Digest. “What’s become clear for about every form of online content, with the exception of sport and adult, is that the PC is not a paying platform.

“But if you move it onto a device, people become more interested in handing over money,” he added, citing Apple’s emergence as the leading online movie and TV player for paid content.

Canal Plus Group had 10.5 million subscriptions as of the end of 2007. France has 2 million PSP users.

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