Founder, Jasper Smith, Reacquires Static 2358 (PlayJam) from OpenTV

--OpenTV to Retain 19% Stake in the Company

--Static 2358 Unveils Plans for PlayJam-Branded Freeview Set-Top Boxes

Founder, Jasper Smith, has reacquired Static 2358, the company which
operates the PlayJam interactive TV games service and which was
acquired by OpenTV in 2001.
Static 2358 is now 81% owned by
Smith's newly established holding company, General Entertainment &
Technology Corporation (GET Corp.), and 19% owned by OpenTV:
according to the companies, this shared ownership structure will
cement a "global alliance" between them. (Note: Smith is also the
founding director of Electra Entertainment, a company that has
developed a new interactive TV middleware--see article in this issue;
and of Fluorescent Media, a company that specializes in developing
cross-platform participation TV formats and technology.)

PlayJam originated as a side project of Static 2358 during the early
days of interactive TV in the UK. PlayJam channels launched on
BSkyB and France's Canal Sat in 2000, and offered a mix of free and
pay-per-play prized games. Static 2358 went on to develop branded
games for such clients as Disney, Universal, the BBC, MTV and
Channel 4, and PlayJam games, of which there are now around 800, are
currently available in around 55 million TV households around the
world, through deployments with such operators as Sky, EchoStar
(US), Dish TV (India), Sky Italia, Multichoice (South Africa), UPC
(Netherlands) and Astro (Malaysia). The company claims that its
games have seen over 8 billion downloads over the past five years. In
its role as the operator of OpenTV's content business, it also claims to
have built, tested and delivered over 3,000 applications, to be able to
support all major operating systems, and to have worked with 46
pay-TV operators and 62 broadcasters across the world. Its central
network operations are based in London, and it maintains offices in
Denver and Bangalore.

According to Smith, his reacquisition of Static 2358 "will mark a shift
towards a stronger general entertainment theme centered on free and
skill-based games through interactive and video content," and the
company will work with various partners to "seamlessly
bring...together games, user-generated content and social networking
across interactive TV, mobile telephony and the Web, ensuring that the
PlayJam Games Network delivers the next phase in IPTV
entertainment." "We're developing the holy grail of casual gaming,"
Smith said in a prepared statement. "PlayJam will become the best ITV
games service in the world where anyone can join. Empowering users
to publish video content on the Web and TV simultaneously creates a
unique offering benefiting both broadcasters and brands."

In related news: Static has announced plans to launch PlayJam-branded
set-top boxes for the UK's free-to-air digital terrestrial service,
Freeview. The new "PlayBox" set-tops will make the PlayJam ITV
games portal available via DTT for the first time. According to the
company, PlayBox-branded Freeview receivers will be driven by its
Trove platform, which is based on proprietary middleware from its
sister company, Electra Entertainment. Electra claims that the
middleware "brings fast, efficient and content-rich interactivity to
mass-market set top boxes, PVR's and IDTV's, requiring less than 1%
of the bandwidth needed by other middleware solutions" (note: for
more on Electra's new middleware platform, see article in this issue).
According to Static, PlayBox receivers will offer over 50
PlayJam-branded games, updated on a daily basis, as well as Freeview's
40 channels, a seven-day EPG, and a range of interactive services
delivered by the Trove platform, including news, weather, reviews and
travel. "PlayJam's games have proven to be hugely popular for all the
family and have the added benefit of driving pay-per-play, subscription
and advertising revenues," Static's Smith said in a prepared statement.
"With nearly 10 million Freeview products sold in the UK last year, the
PlayBox will create substantial differentiation in the marketplace
through its packaging and added-value content." According to Static, it
is currently in the process of finalizing licensing agreements with
Freeview set-top manufacturers. The company says that the PlayBox
will retail for around £20.