Interactive Betting On Internet TV  

15 November 2001

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, 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.'


For further press information (Freedomland), please contact:

Simon Mustoe or Nicola Salvage

Nelson Bostock Communications

Tel: (020) 7792 7417