Between the Lines: Is the web the future of TV?

The BBC and ITV have set their rivalry aside and are conducting a trial to test a way of broadcasting over the internet (this page). The six-month pilot will only be available to subscribers to selected internet service providers, but is a key move from the broadcasters into what some believe will be the future of TV.

Channel 4 already delivers some programming online, as does Sky. And with three-quarters of home internet users now on broadband, it won't be long before IPTV (TV broadcast over the internet) becomes available to the masses. When that happens, the implications for advertisers will be significant.

IPTV means TV on demand, which means no more ad breaks. Broadcasters are experimenting with alternatives, including pre-rolls (short films that run before the viewer can watch the selected programme), but advertisers will also need to think of new ways to reach TV audiences. Their attempts could be helped (at least in the short term) by the fact that current advertising regulators do not cover media delivered online.