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YooMedia debuts Big Brother game on Freeview channel

LONDON - YooMedia, the interactive TV entertainment company, has launched the first iTV games channel on Freeview, which includes a game specifically designed around Channel4's 'Big Brother'.

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Free2Play is the only iTV games service on the Freeview platform and has been launched in association with iTV firm MIETV, which YooMedia acquired a 33% stake of in early April.

Free2Play debuts this week on Freeview with a quiz game based on the Channel 4 'Big Brother' format. The game will run for the 10-week duration of the broadcast show.

'Big Brother' viewers on Channel 4 can go to the game by pressing the red button at any time during the run of the show. Viewers will also be able to access Free2Play by selecting Freeview channel number 53 on their remote handset after performing a rescan.

Matthew Seaman, Freeview general manager, said: "It's great to be able to offer something totally new -- an interactive games channel -- to Freeview homes. With Free2Play our range of channels and services now offers something for all the family."

Free2Play also includes a magazine section, which is populated with daily satirical news and jokes, prize winners, and the promotion of ringtones.

According to Andrew Fearon, chief operating officer at YooMedia, Free2Play is unlike competing interactive TV games channels on other digital platforms: "Most other games channels charge players to play. Free2Play, as the name suggests, will be a totally free-to-play channel available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The content will be just as compelling as the pay-per-play channels, with a minimum of three games available at any one time and the games content being refreshed on a monthly basis," he said.

YooMedia recently launched an interactive channel on Telewest digital cable TV called YooMe2. The channel includes the UK's only cable chat service, YooMe Chat, along with a suite of games including the first cable launch of Tetris.

YooMedia has also signed an exclusive partnership with Dateline to develop and launch all of its interactive dating services on digital television, mobile phones and other wireless devices. The first of these iTV services is expected to launch on Telewest.

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