Media companies are scrambling to seize ground in the emerging portable video market.

Producers and broadcasters in Canada are rushing to create digital content for iPods and other media devices as they seek new ways to earn money. Such companies see a significant threat to their businesses in the form of internet television and other emerging technologies.

There are hurdles to jump, not least the contractual agreements that govern show creation, according to the Hollywood Reporter: "Digital media is complicating current producer-union negotiations on new collective agreements this year. One key issue is how producers will balance broadcaster demands for all rights in perpetuity while writers, directors and actors seek a share of the revenue from new digital broadband uses," it states.

Meanwhile Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger promised attendees at an AG Edwards conference yesterday that his company wouldn't be moved by "perceived fear" among top executives there, and would take "more aggressive approaches to new media in future".

He shrugged off concerns voiced by some affiliates of Disney channel ABC, arguing that offering shows using the internet doesn't seem to cannibalise existing audiences, and that piracy is best beaten by offering legitimate content online.

ABC announced plans to make some of its shows available for free over the internet (with ads) in future.