Ensequence Scores Deals with MTV Networks UK & Ireland, Sky Sports
Portland, Oregon-based interactive TV authoring tools provider, Ensequence, has announced separate three-year deals with two high- profile UK broadcasters. News of the deals--with MTV Networks UK & Ireland and Sky Sports respectively--comes shortly after Ensequence announced that US satellite TV provider, EchoStar, had deployed its technology and is using it to add interactivity to the information channel it offers subscribers of its DISH Network service (see [itvt] Issue 6.09 Part 2), and rival emuse announced deals to provide ITV authoring services to UK broadcasters, the Independent Television Network and Channel 5 (see [itvt] Issue 6.11 Part 3).
The MTV deal will see Ensequence providing the broadcaster with ITV authoring, playout and support services. According to Ensequence, MTV plans to use its on-Q ITV development software to take production and playout of ITV applications in-house. Previously, the broadcaster outsourced application development to NDS, and applications were played out at MTV on NDS technology. Now, its applications will be created using Ensequence's on-Q Create suite, and played out on Softel MediaSphere streamers, using Ensequence's on-Q Air suite. MTV has already launched an application created using Ensequence's on-Q software: an enhanced music video for the band, Gorillaz. More significantly, the broadcaster will also shortly use the software to launch a new version of its multichannel interactive portal application. An Ensequence spokesperson told [itvt] that MTV in addition plans to use the software to add interactivity to "Pimp My Ride" and other popular shows, and to increase embedded sponsorship opportunities for advertisers. "Working with MTV gives us the opportunity to demonstrate the power and potential of the on-Q product suites with one of the most innovative interactive TV operations around," John Holland, sales and marketing director for Ensequence International, said in a prepared statement. "on-Q offers industrial strength, stability and an exciting combination of advanced interactive features, including dynamic update and synchronization. Interactive designers have a high level of creative freedom with the ability to prototype ideas quickly and easily."
The Sky Sports deal will see the broadcaster licensing on-Q Create to build broadcast-synchronized quizzes and other applications, and is also coupled with a comprehensive support agreement. According to Ensequence, the first Sky Sports application to be authored using on-Q create will be launched next month. "Ensequence on-Q software has a perfect fit with our interactive programming philosophy, complementing our existing interactive output and allowing us to focus on increasing our viewers' enjoyment of Sky Sports even more," Piers Croton, Sky Sports Active executive director, Piers Croton, said in a prepared statement. "We are impressed by the power and usability of the on-Q authoring suite, which will help us to produce synchronized interactive programming quickly and easily, with fresh content, in a manner which dovetails with our standard production process."
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