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20/02/2003

ITV and BSkyB sign major interactive deal

ITV have signed a major agreement with BSkyB that will enable the network to launch a range of interactive services on the digital satellite platform and to develop new revenue streams.
The deal, which extends to all ITV branded channels, allows three principal areas of development. The first will see the launch of interactive applications to enhance ITV programming, providing opportunities for viewers to connect with their favourite ITV programmes through applications such as voting, play-along games and access to additional programme information. These services are being developed by ITV in conjunction with Sky Active.
The first fully interactive ITV1 programme, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, launched February 15 to over 6 million Sky Digital homes. The interactive version of the hit quiz show has been developed by Carlton Active and will be sponsored by BT. It allows viewers to play-along with the quiz, answering questions put to the on-screen contestants in real time via their remote control.
The second key focus is interactive advertising, which is a new revenue stream for ITV. ITV will offer advertising clients new ways to engage with viewers, to provide more information on products and services and obtain immediate feedback and sales leads. This follows extensive development of interactive advertising by ITV on the digital terrestrial platform, where over 20 campaigns ran for a range of clients.
The third element is ITV’s partnership with Sportech plc’s Littlewoods Leisure division to develop gaming and betting services linked to programming on the network. The partnership, announced in 2002, is based on a revenue sharing arrangement between ITV and Littlewoods and a range of applications is in development.
Clive Jones, Joint Managing Director, ITV said: “This is an important deal for ITV that offers significant commercial potential in the long term. ITV will now be able to offer a full range of interactive services to enhance viewers’ enjoyment of our programmes and connection to our channels.”
BSkyB’s Chief Operating Officer, Richard Freudenstein, said: “Sky are delighted to welcome ITV as the latest terrestrial broadcaster to take advantage of the interactivity available on digital satellite. Over 20 channels and 250 advertising campaigns have used this technology so far to enhance their offering, and I am sure ITV and their viewers will benefit from it too. We look forward to working with them as the services develop.”
(GB)
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