Its advertising may be excruciating (we're not massive fans of "Setanta Claus"), but congratulations to the broadcaster for reaching the one million premium subscriber mark just four months after launching its Premier League football coverage. The presentation isn't as slick as Sky's rival coverage, but we're quite enjoying it as an alternative. Setanta now has more than three million subscribers, if subscribers through Virgin Media and the Irish cable company UPC are included. A welcome outlet for advertisers targeting a male audience.
I'M A CELEBRITY ... GET ME OUT OF HERE!
While we weren't quite as glued to this series as previous ones (the "celebrities" seemed rather Z-list this time around), it warmed up nicely in the final few days. It was sad to see the scary John Burton Race booted out early, but there was still plenty of entertainment as the show reached its conclusion. The finale, which saw the camp pantomime performer Christopher Biggins crowned king of the jungle, attracted 8.2 million viewers. So the show remains a ratings winner for ITV and looks set to continue for many more series.
SKY ANYTIME RELAUNCH
Sky subscribers have long enjoyed the benefits of Sky's PC video-on-demand service (downloading films and sports clips), but now it has been extended to non-subscribers and offers third-party content for the first time. Sky Anytime has also been improved so that it can be accessed on a computer anywhere, rather than through one PC at home or at work. We're not sure if we'll end up paying for content from the likes of The Biography Channel, but the improvements are a move in the right direction and give Sky a strong position in the online video market.
THELONDONPAPER'S NEW INTERACTIVE MAP
It's nice to see innovation in the free newspaper market, and thelondonpaper has been clever with its online offering to support the freesheet. The latest development is an interactive map of London (knowledge.thelondonpaper.com), alongside a daily listings guide to theatre, comedy and galleries, as well as restaurants, pubs and clubs. Thelondonknowledge map is easy to use and even includes access to critics' reviews of bars and restaurants. Should be handy for the Christmas period.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
What's really riling us in the run-up to Christmas are the ads for Nintendo Wii games and accessories. Nintendo is struggling to supply games stores in sufficient quantities, frustrating many a Christmas shopper (you can't seem to get them anywhere), so ads for anything Wii-branded seem sent merely to taunt us.