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Top Up TV signs PlayPhone deal

LONDON - Top Up TV, the digital pay-TV service, is joining forces with mobile company PlayPhone to launch a TV channel, called PlayPhone Hits.

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The venture, which debuts on Top Up TV on Saturday (6 September), is the first time a mobile entertainment brand has launched its own branded television channel.

PlayPhone, which currently has a presence in more than 20 countries, hopes the channel will help boost subscriber numbers and generate additional revenue via SMS.

PlayPhone Hits will showcase mobile content, some of which is currently available through its Splash Mobile service, including music videos, games and celebrity gossip. Viewers will be encouraged to interact by texting or visiting a website.

Jim Hytner, commercial director of Top Up TV, said the move marked the entry of a wave of non-traditional broadcasters to the TV market.

Hytner, who has held senior marketing positions at Sky, ITV and Five, joined the digital TV provider from Barclays UK earlier this year.

In July, Top Up TV confirmed a deal with Warner Bros to broadcast its programmes on demand. The deal brought programmes including The West Wing, Nip/Tuck and sitcom Two and a Half Men to the service.

PlayPhone also has content deals with blue-chip brands, including Sony BMG, EMI, Disney and Sega.

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