MTV Europe Music Awards to go interactive with NDS

LONDON: News Corp technology arm NDS has announced plans for the pioneering interactive TV (iTV) service developed for MTV UK & Ireland, owned by Viacom for the upcoming MTV Europe Music Awards 2002.

Following on from the success of last year's award winning service which was available on Sky digital, the enhanced TV service is due to launch tomorrow on the Telewest and Sky digital platforms reaching a total of seven million homes across the UK. This will be the first time a music TV channel has presented an enhanced TV application on the Telewest cable platform.

The iTV service enables viewers to interact directly with MTV, allowing them to cast their vote for award nominees in each category whilst simultaneously being entered into a prize draw to win a trip to New York. The service also features alternative voting categories and commentaries for the awards, a daily quiz to win merchandise, and access to event information news and gossip.

Launched for the MTV Europe Music Awards 2001, the iTV service saw over one million votes cast on the Sky digital platform alone, establishing new revenue streams as well as adding a new dimension to the MTV viewer experience.

The MTV Europe Music Awards 2002, hosted by Sean 'P Diddy' Combs, will be held in Barcelona on 14 November, with performances from Robbie Williams, Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Coldplay and Moby, among others. The awards will be broadcast live across MTV Networks Europe at 9 pm on 14 November and in total will air to a potential audience of over one billion viewers worldwide.

Viewers will be able to vote for their favorite artists across 12 award categories with 5 nominees per category at a cost of 50p. Voters will be automatically entered into a prize draw to win a trip to the MTV TRL studios in New York. Post awards, the voting area becomes the alternative voting area, where viewers can vote for the Best Speech, Worst Haircut and Best Arse, amongst others. The service will also offer alternative celebrity commentaries for the repeat showings of the awards on MTV UK from 18 - 22 November. Viewers will be able to win MTV Europe Music Awards 2002 merchandise from Dolce & Gabbana in a daily multiple-choice quiz. The quiz will run from 1-23 November and will cost 50p per entry.

The launch of the iTV service for the MTV Europe Music Awards follows a year of awards' success for MTV Networks UK and NDS: MTV Ad Break Tennis won the Interactive Television Award at the BAFTA's earlier this month. MTV Hits won the Best Use of iTV Award at the British Media Association Awards. MTV Hits won Special Award for Innovation for the 24/7 iTV service at the New Media Age Awards

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