Commercial channel Five in Britain is to drop its interactive television services, including red-button programme enhancements, interactive advertising and sponsorship, and associated games and competitions. Separately, ITV the main commercial network, has lost its head of sponsorship and interactive sales, as well as its head of broadband.
Five was the last main network in Britain to launch an interactive television service in September 2004, following moves by ITV and Channel 4, but has apparently failed to see it pay its way.
The channel is dropping the interactive services associated with key programmes, mainly American imports, on satellite and cable. It is also ending its interactive services menu, which offered access to games and competitions.
Owned by the RTL Group, Five is now the only commercial network broadcaster in Britain not to offer interactive advertising. Channel 4 has maintained its interactive advertising, despite dropping other forms of on screen interaction.
The commitment of the main commercial broadcasters to adding interactivity to programmes and advertisements is increasingly in question.
ITV has lost its head of sponsorship and interactive sales, responsible for red-button advertising, interactive programme sponsorship and the interactive services menu. Mark Rosenegk was only appointed eight months ago, following the departure of former head of interactive sales, Peter Manten.
Annelies Van Den Belt has also left ITV where she was head of broadband. Dominic Cameron, chief technology adviser, has been appointed as acting managing director of ITV.com.