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MTV grooves to interactive TV service

NDS Group, a provider of interactive TV applications, partners with MTV Networks to launch a new interactive music service in the United Kingdom.

    NDS Group, a provider of interactive TV applications, said Monday that it has partnered with MTV Networks to launch a new interactive music service in the United Kingdom.

    Called MTV Hits Interactive, the new service will feature an array of content, including daily interactive quizzes and the latest gossip from musicians. The service, which will launch on Sky Television's digital service, will also enable viewers to customize their TV screen using virtual logos and images. Themed stickers, for instance, will be used to coincide with events, such as the MTV Europe Music Awards and Valentine's Day.

    The launch comes as MTV has been making aggressive moves to bolster its offerings. In January, MTV said it was building an MTV-branded PC, which will have a built-in TV and radio tuner, DVD player and CD burner. The MTV-branded PCs will use processors from Advanced Micro Devices and be built by LAN Plus.

    In addition, in September, MTVi Europe, which operates eight MTV Web sites and the VH1 Web site, teamed with instant-messaging company Odigo to create a new service for MTV Web sites in Europe. With MTV Messenger, people can send and receive instant messages, build buddy lists, and search for chat partners by interest or demographic.

    "MTV has a reputation for pushing the creative boundaries of interactive technology," Chris Sice, managing director of MTVi U.K., said in a statement. "This new interactive service firmly establishes MTV and NDS at the forefront of the current ITV drive."

    NDS said the new service will be powered by NDS technology. The company said that for the 2001 MTV Europe Music Awards, NDS provided interactive voting technology in which people were able to pick award nominees using their remote control. The company said more than 700,000 votes were cast in the three days before the awards ceremony.