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Dish Gives Kudos to ITV Vendors

EchoStar Communications Corp. designated three interactive-TV developers as “ITV Providers of the Year” for Dish Network.

The winners for 2004: OpenTV Corp., Pixel and Buzztime Entertainment Inc.

The honors were bestowed at a vendor gathering designated the annual “Dish Network ITV Summit” at the satellite-TV provider’s headquarters in Englewood, Colo., March 4. More than 100 current and prospective media providers and interactive-TV-software developers were in attendance.

OpenTV was named “2004 Developer of the Year.” It provides the software platform for a majority of Dish receivers and delivered a number of interactive-software applications throughout the year. OpenTV’s software enables enhanced TV, games, interactive shopping, interactive and addressable advertising and gaming.

Pixel was “Game Developer of the Year.” Dish offers Pixel’s “KidsWise,” aimed at young children.

Buzztime, owned by NTN Communications Inc., picked up the “2004 Marketing Award.” Buzztime produces trivia-game shows and multiplayer interactive-TV games played by millions of people each month in restaurants and sports bars on the NTN ITV Network, wireless carriers and with retail games sold in toy stores.

Dish -- with more than 10 million interactive-TV-enabled homes -- claims to have the world’s largest interactive-TV platform. It offers more than 20 interactive-TV channels, including games, sports, news, shopping, children’s programs, customer support and entertainment.

Interactive-TV programmers were judged on timeliness in completing the channel, the impact of the channel for customers, quality assurance, originality and, for one award, marketing effectiveness.