PlayJam Launches Social Web Site to Complement its ITV Games Service

--Site will Let Users Upload Personal Videos for TV and Web Distribution

PlayJam, the pioneering interactive TV games service that was
acquired by OpenTV in 2001 (through the acquisition of its parent
company, Static 2358), and that was re-purchased earlier this year by
its founder, Jasper Smith (see [itvt] Issue 7.77 Part 1), has launched a
Web site which it says it designed to bring together its end-users
around the world (note: PlayJam's customers include Sky in the UK
and DISH in the US; the service is claimed to be available in over 55
million households around the world), and to provide an enhanced user
experience with social-networking capabilities. Among other things,
the site will allow end-users to upload personal videos for distribution
on the TV and the Web, PlayJam says.

PlayJam's online presence is being headed up by Jeff Zie, who was the
service's original channel head, and who will now have the title, head
of online. According to PlayJam, his resume includes stints launching
interactive propositions for Microsoft, BSkyB, Emap and Liberty
Media, and he also oversaw the European launch of Electronic Arts'
online casual games business, Pogo.

According to PlayJam, its new Web site will be heavily promoted by
the operators that carry its service, in order to "encourage the
development of a worldwide PlayJam community." In addition to
playing games on the site, "PlayJammers" can create personal profiles
with photos and videos, write their own blogs and interact with their
friends. A points system has also been set up that rewards players for
their gameplay across TV and the Web (note: the points system
provides players with a single account for both types of gameplay), and
whose points can be redeemed for a range of consumer products. In
addition, PlayJam says, its TV interface will be upgraded to support
video streaming in a phased operator launch that will begin with Sky
and DISH Network. "Adding social networking and user-generated
content to a widely established and successful games network alongside
a cross-platform reward scheme will significantly fuel further
PlayJamming," Jeff Zie said in a prepared statement. "With a mobile
launch also imminent, it's a really exciting time to return to PlayJam
and enhance its offering utilizing the best of today's media