Smile TV to launch 3 interactive channels for Asia

MUMBAI: Three interactive channels are poised to make their debut into Asian homes from 1 January 2004.


To be launched on the AsiaSat 3S platform, the three channels - Malibu TV, Platinum TV, and Casino TV, promise to offer 'strong, highly targeted programming', and offer to bring value to both cable broadcasters and advertisers.

The three channels will initially be transmitted in English, with additional languages introduced over time. Malibu TV is an active sports channel with a focus on the California and Pacific board sport and beach culture; Platinum TV is a luxury lifestyle channel; Casino TV explores the lifestyle of some of the greatest casino destinations in the world, alongside the best in sophisticated interactive entertainment.

According to Smile TV managing director Manivel Malone, "We know from our experience in the UK and Europe that the fastest growing area of interest among television viewers is programme participation through using the mobile phone and the Internet. The viewer wants to interact and already has the technology in hand to do so.Recent research forecasts that TV generated SMS messaging will have a global value of over US$9 billion in 2004. "

Consequently, all three channels will employ innovative formats to enable viewers to participate in a wide range of interactive programming - join live games via their mobile handset, and download the games to play when they are not viewing; enter quizzes and competitions; compete in for-fun casino games ; vote for TV favourites via a video juke box; post messages live on screen and send greetings to friends or comment on current programming; interact live via SMS with the programme hosts and other viewers simultaneously and communicate via multi-party voice chat forums. New applications will be unveiled in the months following the launch.

Interactive services for the channels are to be provided by Cellcast Interactive, which is among the world's leading developers of interactive TV solutions facilitated through real time viewer interaction via mobile and fixed line telephony, Internet and wireless data devices, claims Smile TV. Via AsiaSat 3S, Smile TV hopes to reach the satellite's estimated hold over 80 million homes via cable and DTH, and exploit its footprint that extends from Japan and China to India and the Middle East.

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