Television

First 24x7 gaming channel to launch next year in US

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MUMBAI: The crowded American television landscape will welcome a new entrant next year. EdgeTV, which is positioning itself as the first 24-hour gaming network, will launch next year.

The channel's tagline will be "watch the best, play with the best and live like the best." EdgeTV will launch in the first quarter of next year. It will be a one-stop TV destination for all game players -- from casino games to fantasy sports and from bridge to crosswords. The Beverly Hills-headquartered EdgeTV is in final discussions with a major Vegas casino group to establish permanent production and broadcast operations within a major casino. The programme mix will be 70 per cent original while the rest is acquired.

The broadcaster claims to have already entered into broadcast agreements with the US Chess Federation and American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, led by National Public Radio puzzle master. EdgeTV will also provide Video On Demand (VOD) and interactive services. This will augment its programming by teaching audiences the basics and nuances of a variety of games.

With $10 million in seed capital, the venture is being led by legal and telecommunications pioneer Reagan Silber and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and executives Keith Richman and Charles Katz.

Talent and literary agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) will assist the broadcaster in new business activities and content acquisition strategies.

Its programming falls within three areas which reflect the above mentioned tagline:Watch the Best: EdgeTV will transport viewers to live tournaments around the world. The high-stakes games promise plenty of drama.

Play with the Best -- Edge TV will let viewers be part of the programmes. Viewers can play at home while watching experts give tutorials on-the-air. They will also be able to compete online against the best players in every game for cash and prizes. With the evolution of interactive television future EdgeTV viewers will have the ability to actively play with their favourite celebrity game champion or dice roller.

Live Like the Best -- Offering inside access into the world of games, and the fantasy lifestyle that high rollers live, EdgeTV will also help viewers live like the winners. It will profile casinos and hotels as well as exotic gaming locations.

Silber was quoted in a company release saying, "We acknowledge that there is competition in the marketplace, but believe that this concept is clearly differentiated by its programming spectrum, strong capitalisation and emerging partnerships with the creative and gaming communities. EdgeTV will be a comprehensive source for the games that people play. We anticipate that it will not only be strongly embraced, but demanded by viewers."

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