At a well-attended ceremony at the Majestic Hotel in Cannes, the French perhaps unsurprisingly dominated the ‘2004 International ITV Awards’ organised by AFDESI, the association of French interactive television developers, publishers and service providers.

TV Card, who coincidentally sponsored of the event, picked up the award for the best original iTV concept and a special jury award. The company appears to have found a use for the spare card reader slot on millions of set top boxes. The card allows the storage of personal data and can be supplied pre-loaded with credits and personalised data or potentially charged through a kiosk terminal, enabling considerable creative possibilities. TV Card propose a range of smart card applications including pay television, teleshopping, loyalty schemes, lottery, betting and games services. The originality of this concept is not entirely clear, since presumably someone thought to put the slots in the boxes in the first place. The demonstrations on display appeared to work well enough, but the real challenge will be to market and promote the adoption of such services.

Sky Interactive won the award for the most creative iTV programme for the Who Wants to be a Millionaire interactive quiz developed with Celador International running on the Sky Gamestar portal. The standalone application is a faithful representation of the successful quiz show with the chance to win cash prizes.

La Chaîne Météo won best interactive information programme for their local weather and traffic service.

CANALSATELLITE won the award for best service by a network operator for A La Une.

Eurosport France was named best publisher for the Eurosport Interactive service on CANALSATELLITE.

Visiware received the interactive game or interactive entertainment programme award for the Playin’Star channel available on TPS and was recognised as best developer for Code de la Route, their interactive highway code game.

TPS Interactive was recognised with best enhanced TV programme for their interactive betting service available on their satellite programme Equidia.

DIRECTV Latin America received the best advertising programme award for an interactive trivia quiz game.

Rai Click was awarded best T-Commerce service for the first on demand service in Italy, providing information and entertainment services over broadband fibre networks.