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16th February 2001. bid-up.tv(R) has invested in interactive voice response (IVR) technology from C3 Ltd. to enable viewers to bid for items featured on its satellite TV programme using their telephone keypads.

The new phone service capability, based on C3’s ISDN-based Apcentia call handling and e-business platform, makes bid-up.tv the UK’s first interactive on-line auction programme to gives viewers the option of bidding in real time via their phones via Sky digital channel 647 or the bid-up.tv web site http://www.bid-up.tv


By using integrated technology architecture that takes real time live feeds from C3’s IVR system and bid-up’s web site, bid-up.tv ensures all bidders have an equal opportunity to win - whatever media they use.

Available on SkyDigital Channel no. 647, Telewest Active Digital, BTopenworld and on the web, bid-up.tv is a fast-paced interactive auction channel where viewers can compete for a variety of quality products during 12 hours of live auctions every day from 12pm.

bid-up.tv offers a wide range of leading brand products - from the latest electronics and jewellery to wine and collectables - all sold on a business to consumer basis. A themed programme schedule (with shows like ‘Lots of Jewellery’ and ‘Wine & Dine’) means that viewers can find the products they want easily.

The channel is designed to take full advantage of the exploding Digital TV market (already over 6 million homes and anticipated to reach over 12 million by December 2004).

Using the interactive phone option

Web bidders must first register their name and contact details on the bid-up.tv web site. Viewers who want to use the phone option, however, do not need to register before placing a bid meaning there is minimum barrier to entry for phone users.

According to Clive Bradshaw, Head of Systems at bid-up.tv, the interactive phone option has already proven to be a hit with viewers. “Since our November 2000 launch, bid-up.tv has received over 70,000 bids from viewers, of which over 90% were via the phone. We believe that the range of options we give viewers puts our service very much at the forefront of real time interactive digital TV technology.

When looking to find a suitable IVR supplier, bid-up.tv approached a number of potential suppliers. "We were very impressed with C3" commented Bradshaw. "We found them to be very helpful and their Apcentia platform to be well designed, well featured and versatile".

120 lines of C3 Apcentia technology were installed by bid-up.tv in August 2000. Following an extremely positive response to the new phone service, bid-up.tv decided to install a further 60 lines in December 2000.

About C3’s Apcentia

C3’s Apcentia is a scaleable NT-based communications platform designed for network operators and service providers and large scale enterprise/ council usage. It is scaleable to tens of thousands of lines and supports: Interactive Voice Response services; pre-paid services; Voice, fax and email messaging; Call switching and queuing; Call centre applications; Auto attendant applications; and Internet services. It is widely used internationally by operators of calling card services, Audiotex services and value added network services. The Apcentia platform uses core computer telephony and network interface technology from Dialogic (an Intel company) and Aculab. The platform also uses SQL 7.0 database technology.

About bid-up.tv

bid-up.tv is wholly owned by sit-up. sit-up is the UK's first interactive video content provider, set up to create and exploit "sit-up" entertainment opportunities in convergence of digital TV and Internet. Launched in 1999 by Ashley Faull and John Egan (two former board members of ONdigital) sit-up is wholly focused on the exciting opportunities surrounding the provision of interactive video content for the next generation of broadcasting. The sit-up name reflects the mix of lean back (television) and lean forward (computer) technologies - interactive television viewers will not simply 'lean back' and watch or 'lean forward' to type, they will be able to 'sit up' and enjoy an interactive viewing experience whether on their television or their PC. sit-up plans to create, acquire and aggregate high quality interactive video content for broadband Internet and digital TV as these two media come together to create a new era in home entertainment. This market is destined!
to grow as BT and the cable companies join the digital satellite and digital terrestrial companies in rolling out the distribution technology required for broadband Internet access - eventually being joined by mobile telephone companies as third generation mobile products come onto the market.

About C3

C3 is Europe’s leading supplier of NT-based converged communications platforms for call handling and e-business applications. The company has installed over 60,000 lines of computer telephony technology world-wide for calling card, IVR, Audiotex, Automated Attendant and Voicemail since 1990. C3 is based in Cambridge, UK.

For enquiries, please call:

Susan Hunt

C3

Tel: +44 (0) 1223 427700

Fax: +44 (0) 1223 427711

email: susanh@c3ltd.co.uk


Michael Gray/ Sarra Mander

Gray Associates Ltd

Tel: +44 (0)20 8744 9168

Fax: +44 (0)20 8744 9169

email: gray_associates@msn.com


Glenn Matchett

Tel: +44 (0) 20 8600 9712

Fax: +44 (0)20 8746 2811

e-mail: glenn@sit-up.tv

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