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June 27, 2002 | News Archives

Asia's Ready For More I-TV Programs
By staff

At the end of 2000, there were 14.9 million homes worldwide using interactive TV (i-TV). It has been predicted that figure will grow to 244 million homes by 2006. And based on a recent research by Allied Business Intelligence, the i-TV market is estimated to generate US$19.2 billion per year from 2006 onwards.

A critical factor determining the success of i-TV lies with the penetration rates of standard cellular telephones in a country. Given that the penetration rates are approaching 100 percent in many parts of Asia, the time is right for more i-TV programs in the region.

To capitalize on the growth, Robert Chua Production House, TeltecAsia Ltd and Primex Communications have teamed up to introduce enhanced interactive capabilities for home viewers of 'live' entertainment TV programs in the region.

The alliance, formed through the integration of television, mobile and third-generation (3G) technologies, will enable TV audiences of programs to actively participate in quizzes, win prizes, vote on areas of interest, subsequently shaping the content of their favorite variety programs, via their mobile handsets using short messaging service (SMS) technology.

According to Robert Chua, founder and chairman of Robert Chua Production House, the interactive element will benefit TV stations as well as the audience. For TV stations, they can expect increased viewership, loyalty and revenue.

Advertisers will not only benefit from an increased viewership but also from captive audiences who are tuned in to live broadcasts.

Cellular telephone operators will also be able to take advantage of mass adoption and usage of popular applications. In particular, such programs will allow 3G operators to offer compelling user experiences that exploit the benefits of high-speed, two-way wireless data.

Negotiations are already underway with regional broadcasters and prospective sponsors. The first TV game show to offer full interactivity will be 'Everyone Wins' - an hour quiz show in Hong Kong in which contestants compete over four rounds, answering multiple choice questions that are both text and visually based.

In initial stages, the show will combine television broadcasting with interactive SMS. Standalone SMS and Internet versions will follow shortly. Other programs incorporating 3G, General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) and wireless data are already nearing launch.

Robert Chua Production House will provide the TV content; TeltecAsia will assume responsibility for overall project co-ordination and co-ordination between TV channels and carriers; while Primex Communications will provide the regional infrastructure and network required.

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