The winners of the second Annual Awards for Leadership in Interactive Television have been announced at the National Show of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association in San Francisco.

The awards are presented to individuals that have demonstrated leadership in the interactive television industry over the past year. Naturally, being the National Show, the recipients were mainly North American.

The only exception was Ian Shepherd, managing director of Sky Interactive, who was unable to attend. The News Corporation representative presenting the award on behalf of Rupert Murdoch, recognised in absentia the previous year, accepted it on his behalf.

Vincent Dureau, the chief technology officer of OpenTV, also a previous recipient, magnanimously presented an award to Don Dulchinos of CableLabs. He described him as the midwife of the birth of OCAP, the open platform standard based on MHP that is being adopted by the cable industry in North America.

Patrick Donoghue of Cablevision, one of the winners last year, presented an award to his Cablevision colleague Jonathan Boltax, director of digital product development.

Rick Mandler of ABC Enhanced TV presented an award to his counterpart at Turner, Kevin Cohen, while Alison Green of Bell ExpressVu in Canada similarly acknowledged Scott Higgins, director of interactive programming at EchoStar.

Long-term achievement awards were presented to Scott Newnam, chief executive of GoldPocket Interactive, and John Roberts, who is responsible for online at interactive entertainment at GSN, the network for games jointly owned by Sony and Liberty.

After a decade or more of experimentation, there was general agreement that America is on the cusp of a breakthrough in interactive television. However, there is some way to go before these self-appointed awards will represent anything more than a coterie congratulating themselves for still being in the game.