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Interactive TV leaders launch trade association

Key leaders in the emerging interactive television industry have united to create a new trade association, the Interactive Television Alliance.
The Interactive Television Alliance (iTV Alliance) announced that it will aggressively promote interactive television deployment through consumer awareness campaigns and cross-industry outreach.
iTV Alliance president, Ben Mendelson, said:" We're extremely pleased with the response. Executives at the highest levels of the iTV industry have committed to leadership roles in this new organization. More than 30 core companies are already participating and over 100 others are ready to join. Furthermore, the roster of companies joining spans all segments of the industry, and that's critical to making interactive television a reality in the US."
The iTV Alliance represents a coalition of companies and professionals that create, distribute and enable interactive programming delivered through the television, with executives from Canal +, Liberate, OpenTV, Wink and WorldGate heading the charge. The group also includes members from all segments of the iTV production chain: Content, Distribution, Advertising, Applications, Hardware, Data/Commerce and Production.
The new association will also focus on creating strong partnerships with advertisers to facilitate the creation of new business models. Art Cohen, Senior Vice-President, ACTV said: "We're working very closely with forward-thinking companies who are looking beyond traditional revenues. The whole point is to make iTV profitable, and we've found many advertisers, agencies, and networks ready to explore revolutionary interactive programming approaches."
In keeping with that spirit of cooperation, the iTV Alliance is developing an extensive public awareness campaign. The initiative will be used to kick-start the industry by stimulating consumer demand for iTV services. The campaign will include a 30-minute TV show customized for each network operator, magazine supplements, online information and public demonstration centres.
The Interactive Television Alliance will hold its first organizing meeting during the National Cable & Telecommunications Association conference this week. Alliance president, Mendelson, said: "This is long overdue. The structure of the iTV Alliance allows us to take control of our own destiny instead of waiting passively for the environment to change. We will foster new forms of revenue, providing tangible value to our members. The iTV Alliance will always keep this as our primary focus."
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