|If you think TV is all about news channels, videos, sitcom reruns, then iSports TV might interest you. iSports TV, owned by the Gaming Channel, has kicked off interactive betting services on 'virtual' horses and jockeys as they race against each other.|
Why is it called virtual? Because all the horses, jockeys, racecourses and crowds have been computer generated (CGI) unlike other sports channels which air 'real' horse racing. Powered by I-Race, the racing software and visual simulation has been developed by content producer VIS iTV. I-Race runs on multiple platforms like SMS (text) messaging, the Internet for online betting.
I-Race was developed as a horseracing 'management' game, similar to the popular football manager games currently available, played on X-Box, PS-2 or Gamecube.
iSports TV is aired on Sky Digital channel 431, the company said it received excellent customer response from betting shops and home viewers alike. 'Virtual racing as a successful betting product, is cheaper to produce than real horse racing. It will be popular sports fans and punters alike,' says Damien Cope, managing director of iSports TV.
According to gambling industry pundits, interactive TV will open up betting to a new customer base who have previously shied away from walking into betting shops or gambling online.