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Amplifying the entertainment

THERE’S serious money to be made by using interactive television to enhance existing the high-rating programming, according to local company Burdekin Pacific.

Burdekin Pacific recently presented the first interactive sports broadcast in conjunction with statistics compiled by a company called Pineapplehead for the broadcast of rugby union’s Bledisloe Cup in early September.

The project combined Seven Network’s rugby broadcast with real time match statistics to viewers participating in an Optus trial.

“We’re moving to a position where the company is driven by what consumers want,” Burde-kin Pacific chief executive Jerome Vitale said.

Based on the development of interactive television in the UK market, Burdekin Pacific has shifted its focus from information delivery to adding interactive value to the big rating television spots, including live sport and game shows.

Burdekin Pacific announced an agreement to acquire a 34.5 per cent interest in Two Way TV, a leading provider of live enhanced television entertain-ment and interactive television applications and technology.

Two Way TV has a sophisticated suite of interactive technologies that can be operated across any television delivery platform and inter-active television middleware.

Burdekin Pacific has decided that it’s best to leave the battle over which interactive platform the networks chose to go with in Australia.

The company previously was aligned and branded with one of the three interactive television platforms, Liberate.

And although it will continue to develop Liberate, the company is not exclusively tied to a single platform.

“We were branded as a Liberate shop but we don’t own that anymore. We are still a Liberate developer but not exclusively,” Mr Vitale said.

Interactive television has moved on from the web on television, Mr Vitale claims, with things now focused on the lucrative entertainment market.

“If you go back a couple of years there was a lot of talk about the web on television. The bottom line is that’s pretty boring,” he said.

“The web on TV is not entertainment and TV is about entertaining. It’s about getting people emotionally involved.

“People don’t mind being entertained and are prepared to pay for anything to enhance that.”

Burdekin Pacific claims the interactive television revolution will be led not by information service delivery, but in enhancing television programs such as live sport and game shows, both of which already attract a considerable following.

“Part of the strategy is to move away from the IT emphasis where we started to interactive television with an entertainment bias,” Mr Vitale said.

“And frankly, everywhere around the world, that’s where it is at … connecting with major suppliers of entertainment and focusing on applications.”

The acquisition of Two Way TV gives Burdekin the right to use all of its interactive applications developed by a team of 200 people in the Two Way TV office in London.

Burdekin Pacific and ICE interactive were involved in the interactive television trial earlier this year and worked with the delivery of information, education services and the world wide web to a select group of consumers in the target area.

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