|Freedomland Internet Television, Europe's largest open access Internet|
TV platform, today announces a partnership with Global Interactive
Gaming (GIG), exclusive provider of the world's most advanced in-run,
interactive betting service.
The deal is highly significant for both companies, marking GIG's first
deal with a pan-European interactive TV (iTV) platform, and
Freedomland's first entertainment-based signing since its June 2001 deal
with award-winning interactive murder mystery adventure The Cypher
(created by B.E. Studios).
Freedomland launched in the UK in Spring 2001 to provide subscribers
with full Internet access and a host of exclusive and proprietary
content via the TV set. At £9.99 per month plus local call costs, users
get a set-top box, infra-red keyboard and access to the Freedomland
service with its wide and exciting range of entertainment.
GIG, backed by the digital services arm of Germany's Kirch group, aims
to become the iTV betting benchmark. GIG exclusively offers the world's
first truly interactive and consumer-focused gaming system. Using
patent-protected software, it runs alongside live sport broadcasts,
offering continually updated, computer-generated odds on every twist and
turn of an event.
The service significantly enhances viewers' enjoyment of sport, by
providing betting propositions on all the key moments in a live sports
event -- the result of a crucial penalty in football, for example, or
match point in a tennis tournament.
GIG's service will be launched to users of Freedomland's set-top box
early in 2002, joining existing content from blue-chip partners such as
the BBC, Sports.com and WHSmith, who have already signed up with
GIG's service breaks the mould by targeting the potentially huge market
of sports fans who enjoy the occasional flutter and play the Lottery,
but who would think twice about placing large-stake bets in a High
Street betting shop. The company's research already confirms the strong
appeal of the system to the targeted audience and in particular
indicates exceptional interest from female sports fans.
Simon Mellinger, General Manager of Freedomland, comments: 'GIG has come
up with a market-leading product that fits perfectly with the
demographic of Freedomland subscribers. Gaming is one of the pioneering
applications on Internet and interactive TV platforms, and GIG offered
Freedomland a great opportunity to be at the forefront of this
'It is a product that underlines the convergence between television and
the Internet, enhancing and enriching the viewer experience and thus
precisely mirroring the Freedomland philosophy.'
Cees Zwaard, CEO of Global Interactive Gaming, adds: 'We firmly believe
there is a bright future for interactive TV, especially for value-added,
revenue-generating services like ours, that integrate with and
complement existing broadcasts. We are thus delighted that Freedomland
shares our vision. Freedomland provides the UK's lowest entry cost for
open Internet TV access, so I am highly optimistic that our
revolutionary service will soon be available to a much wider audience.'