ITV and 3 link up to beam TV to mobiles

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ITV has teamed up with the mobile phone company 3 to offer hit shows such as I'm A Celebrity... to its users. The partnership, which will initially last for one year, means the 3.2 million users of 3 can watch live television and highlights from ITV shows includingThe X Factor, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and others planned for 2006.

The video clips will cost 50p to download. Only I'm A Celebrity... is broadcast live at present but ITV plans to extend this service to other programmes. A spokesman for the company said: "No one has the quantity of content we have."

ITV expects the move to lead to "significantly higher" interactive revenues than last year's £31m. Details of the revenue-sharing agreement with 3 were not disclosed. As ITV has its own mobile portal, even UK mobile users without 3G phones will be able to receive some of its content. That distinguishes it from a tie-up between Vodafone and Sky, where only subscribers to Vodafone's 3G network can access pictures from an initial selection of 19 Sky channels, of which five are broadcast live.

A spokesman for 3 said its agreement with ITV also differs from the Vodafone-Sky deal in that the television content will be tailored to mobiles and will include highlights and behind-the-scenes footage, as well as previews of the Bush Tucker trials in I'm A Celebrity... on the handset before they are shown on television. It is likely ITV will strike up similar partnerships with other mobile networks.

Charles Allen, the chief executive of ITV, said: "With big entertainment shows like [ours], people increasingly want to get the latest gossip and content between shows."