Digital Bets in Your 'Wired' Home
By Michael
ITV Digital is planning to bring interactive gaming to its 1.1 million customers through technology provided by Global Interactive Gaming (GIG). The two companies intend to develop a fully interactive, play-by-play consumer betting product expected to be ready for launch in 2002 on ITV Active.

GIGís real-time, screen-based system will allow players to wager continually on defining moments throughout a game, for example a penalty in football or a match point in tennis. This service is unique amongst such systems and is specifically designed to appeal to a wide consumer audience.

The large subscription to ITV Digital has provided a generation of users well-versed in interactive television through sports and information services already available on the channel. These customers are the target of ITV Digitalís move into interactive gambling, people who are unlikely to venture into the alien environment of a betting shop, yet donít mind having the occasional wager, perhaps simply on a key moment of a game.

Customers will need a connection to an existing phone line to use the service, everything else is accessible through the remote keyboard of their ITV Active box. The service will encompass almost every sporting event shown on the channel, including UEFA Champions League broadcasts on ITV and ITV Digital.

The UK iDTV betting market is currently estimated by ABN AMRO to be worth £1.4 billion by 2004.

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