Cellcast launches in Sri Lanka

MUMBAI: Cellcast Interactive India which works in the area of interactive television has begun operations in Sri Lanka with the launch of its award-winning interactive auction show Bid2Win on Derana TV.

Cellcast says that Sri Lanka’s rapidly expanding mobile phone base of 5.4 million users, about 28 per cent of the country’s 19 million population, along with its advanced 3G-based mobile infrastructure, makes it a prime market for its products


Bid2Win is the first direct participation TV programme in Sri Lanka, and the first to use premium SMS to create new revenue streams for mobile operators and broadcasters. Featuring prominently in Sri Lanka’s prime-time TV schedules, Bid2Win has received millions of responses since its launch in November 2006.

Bid2Win is one of a portfolio of participation-TV formats developed by Cellcast plc and has been sold to over eight markets. During the half-hour show, audiences are shown a high-value aspirational product and encouraged to send premium-rate SMS containing a unique, low bid. The auction engine evaluates the bids and maintains the “current lowest bidder” at all times. It also responds to every bidder with the status of his/her bid. At the end of the auction period (24 hours), the final winner is declared. The bidders and current winner information is shown in real-time on TV during the half-hour show and can be seen on the Internet at all times.


Cellcast Interactive India CEO Pankaj Thakar says, “The Cellcast Group is a pioneer in participation content and premium rate mobile entertainment services across the world. I am delighted with the substantial audiences Bid2Win has attracted on Derana TV and I’m pleased to confirm we will shortly be introducing more of these types of shows in Sri Lanka to meet local demand.

“The launch of our programmes in Sri Lanka is the natural outcome of our successful operation in India. With proven formats and technologies and an experienced team based in Mumbai, we plan to export our mobile phone linked interactive television products to other South Asian markets. Mobile phone usage in the region continues to enjoy huge growth, and in today’s multi-channel television environment, audiences are hungry for new forms of entertainment.”

Derana TV is a terrestrial broadcasters in Sri Lanka. Cellcast CEO Andrew Wilson says, "Sri Lanka is the twenty-ninth country in which our programmes and applications have been launched, demonstrating the effectiveness of our interactive broadcast model which is delivering both new revenue streams and the active engagement of television audiences worldwide.”

In January 2007 Cellcast had launched Sumo.TV which offers India’s first end-to-end user-generated content (UGC) solution for broadcasters.

The Cellcast Group’s participation TV formats are scalable from small satellite channels to major terrestrial broadcasters, suitable for all countries, languages and cultures, and are generating significant revenues for its broadcast partners in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The group‘s proprietary programming content captures new telephony-based pay-to-participate revenue streams that are independent of subscription income and advertising.

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