HK interactive program launched with UEFA Cup

Two Way TV Australia has signed a deal with Hong Kong-based free-to-air broadcaster, Asia Television and TV production company, International Football Marketing, to enable interactivity on the latter's pre-game soccer panel series, "Kick Off Hot Talk."

TWTV Australia will use the Simcast SMS-to-TV technology to enable interactive competitions, voting and chat on the program, starting with the latter's UEFA Cup pre-match show (23 episodes running through to 17 May 2006). Viewers will be able to compete to win cash and other prizes, including a grand prize at the end of the series, consisting of a trip to London and tickets to major soccer games.

The cost for viewers to participate will be HK$2.00 per message in Hong Kong and RMB1 per message in mainland China. TWTV Australia says that the show's producers anticipate that 3-6% of its audience will use the new interactive TV service: ATV claims that the show attracts approximately 600,000 viewers in Hong Kong and 4 million in the neighboring mainland China province of Guangdong.

Net proceeds from the service (after carrier costs) will be shared equally between ATV, TWTV Australia and the show's producer: TWTV Australia estimates that its share could total anywhere between A$170,000 and A$430,000. The company claims to be in negotiations with "numerous" other broadcasters in Asia that are interested in using its technologies to roll out ITV services.