April 2005
Editor: Monique van Dusseldorp
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Hong Kong: Robert Chua launches ‘The Interactive Channel'
Robert Chua, the industry veteran who created Asia's longest-running variety show, Enjoy Yourself Tonight, and founded China Entertainment Television Broadcast (CETV), which was sold to Time Warner in 2003, has recently launched The Interactive Channel in Hong Kong as a private venture. The channel is available via cable to an audience of 700,000 and as an IPTV channel to some 50,000 viewers.

Labelled the world's first ‘cross media’ interactive TV Channel, TIC mainly offers talk shows that invite the audience to interact via a wide range of networks. There is a total of six video boxes, one for the TV studio feed, a chat-room box (which displays internet and SMS messages), a callers' box (fixed-line phone, video-phone, mobile 3G and VoIP to call in), a voting box (for SMS and internet), and a moving scroll message bar, as well as a separate banner-ad box, all on one screen. Revenue is to come from premium interaction (SMS, IVR, MMS) and 'play points', which viewers can purchase on the internet in order to interact with the channel. I met with Chua in Cannes, and he admitted that for now, audience response has been low, which may be attributable to lack of active promotion. Chua is looking to expand his channel to the rest of China and beyond.


 

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Participation TV News 2005