Television

Hallmark Entertainment parent company Crown Media enters interactive television marketplace with Crown Interactive

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Crown Media Holdings on Wednesday announced the formation of Crown Interactive, a new division of the company designed to leverage the wide array of products and services from Crown Media's affiliated companies, Hallmark Cards and Hallmark Entertainment, in the burgeoning interactive television marketplace.

Crown Interactive has formally begun its beta testing stage in Singapore, offering video-on-demand (VOD) on a non-exclusive basis in conjunction with Sharkstream, a streaming portal specialising in interactive multimedia entertainment for the Asia Pacific region. Sharkstream is a subsidiary of Indian media company United Television (UTV).

Consumers throughout Singapore can now view full screen streaming video of some of the best titles from the Hallmark Entertainment library, including, "Gulliver's Travels", "Merlin", "Cleopatra", "Jason and the Argonauts" and "Arabian Nights". Other cutting-edge interactive services and capabilities including video greetings and e-commerce should be added to the Singapore platform during its beta phase period with a full roll out of Crown Interactive in the region scheduled to begin during the second quarter of 2001, according to a press release.

By leveraging Hallmark's readily available, cross-divisional assets, including technology, creative resources, infrastructure, content and professional relationships worldwide, the Crown Interactive platform will become a comprehensive, user-friendly broadband service for consumers and platform operators, available through both PC-based systems and digital set-top boxes.

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