ITVi, the interactive arm of the UK commercial television company ITV plc, has confirmed the initial line-up of suppliers that it will work with exclusively to provision its interactive output.
Contracts have already been signed by interactive developers Mindhouse and Push Button TV, a new initiative headed by Paula Byrne, former product development director for Open Interactive, subsequently Sky Active.
Other companies in the process of signing contracts include Two Way TV, Fernhart, Emuse and JDA. Other companies may follow in the future.
The procurement process was managed by Louise Okafor, head of programme management for ITVi. The interactive division is planning to increase the number of programme formats with an interactive element.
The BBC announced plans for a similar roster of interactive suppliers two years ago and received detailed submissions from prospective suppliers but the scheme was apparently dropped because it was too restrictive.
The recent Graf report into the online activities of the BBC recommended that the corporation set a minimum target of 25% of all online content apart from news to be supplied by external or independent suppliers by the end of the current charter period in December 2006. This is in line with a similar quota for independently produced television programmes, although no specific provision currently exists for interactive television.