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Kevin Smith

Sportingbet's iTV Plans

21 January 2004

One of Internet gambling's most recognizable brands will soon be available through interactive television in the United Kingdom.

Sportingbet Plc plans to have an interactive TV betting platform launched in England this year. The company is teaming up with interactive entertainment and wireless firm YooMedia Plc to develop the software and backbone for the system. The two groups will share revenues generated through interactive TV betting.

YooMedia has created interactive TV platforms for Cartoon Network, Dateline, Tetris and other big-name clients. Sportingbet is company's first I-gaming partner.

Both groups are hopeful the first version of the Sportingbet iTV platform will debut by early spring.

The launch will mark the first time an Internet-only gambling operator has ventured into the iTV market.

Andrew Fearon, chief operating officer at YooMedia, said the company was looking for a strong Internet brand to partner with and that Sportingbet fit the bill.

"Sportingbet is one of the most successful online businesses in its arena," Fearon said. "The success of interactive betting and gaming is well documented, nd it is often considered as the killer application for interactive content."

YooMedia will introduce the Sportingbet interactive betting system on cable throughout the United Kingdom and later launch a more advanced system for satellite and digital cable customers.

In addition to sports betting, the new channel will offer online casino and card games popular on the Sportingbet Web site, including SuperHiLo, Blackjack and Joker Poker, as well as slots and dice games.

Sportingbet CEO Nigel Payne said the addition of iTV betting should enable the company to significantly expand its customer base.

"The move to television is an important strategy for us," Payne said. "It will widen our audiences and make our games more accessible to those customers without a PC."

Sportingbet's iTV Plans is republished from
Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith