Turner Broadcasting will use the Mistral system from Chello Interactive to provide enhanced television services in Europe. The Mistral solution is designed to offer an end-to-end production and management system for interactive television. Chello Interactive is part of the same group of companies as UPC, the cable company through which Turner will deliver interactive applications in mainland Europe.
Turner will use Mistral to design, publish and manage enhanced services on its Cartoon Network and Boomerang kids’ channels on BSkyB in the United Kingdom and on UPC in Holland.
“Interactive and enhanced TV works particularly well for Cartoon Network and our other children’s entertainment channels in the UK,” said Ian McClelland, director of digital media for Europe at Turner Broadcasting. “We want to improve that offering to include robust and flexible scheduling, advanced interactive advertising options and the ability to launch and manage similar services in other European territories. Chello Interactive is the obvious choice to facilitate these requirements.”
Neil Meadows of Chello Interactive described Turner Broadcasting as a respected digital media player with a robust multiplatform and international distribution strategy. “As well as working to meet Turner’s immediate requirements,” he said, “this will also ensure flexibility for future growth.”
Developed to overcome the many obstacles that prevent efficient and cost-effective delivery of eTV applications, Mistral enables simultaneous playout of enhanced programming over multiple middleware including Liberate, OpenTV and MHP and supports satellite, cable and terrestrial platforms.
Chello Interactive says that over the last year it has delivered over 200 ITV and broadband applications in 15 European markets. Both Channel 4 and IDS in the UK have elected to use their systems to manage interactive advertising.
The company says it sees the continuing need for simple, attractively priced solutions that offer creative flexibility. While interactive advertising and ITV in general is in its infancy in many markets, the company has mainland Europe is opening up as a two-way, high-speed digital television marketplace.
Chello Interactive is a division of Chello Media, which in turn is a Liberty Global Company. Liberty Global operates cable television systems in Europe under the brands of UPC, Telenet in Belgium and Cablecom in Switzerland.