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ANYONE CAN BE ON MiTV! (article first published : 2003-05-19)

In a world first, M-Net has signed an exciting deal with the Munich-based production company earth television network to launch a revolutionary new concept in television, MiTV!, which promises to make a star of the audience on both M-Net and a dedicated DStv channel.

"MiTV! is a cross between Candid Camera, Idols, talk-back radio (on TV) and Big Brother. Anyone with anything special to say or do can be on TV. Viewers will not only participate in the outcome of a TV programme, they can actually participate in the making thereof!" explains M-Netís Director of Local Productions, Carl Fischer.

Using earth television network's new broadcast and transmission technology, M-Net will set up remote MiTV! ON AIR Studios in dedicated locations across the country's major cities. The public will be invited to the ON AIR Studio to interact with an IVR (interactive voice recording) line through their cellular phones while being recorded by earthTVcams controlled from M-Net's broadcast hub in Randburg. The video content generated will then be packaged for a dedicated channel on DStv and weekly slot on M-Net. The system later sends a notification via SMS informing the participant that they are about to appear on MiTV!

The fully remote controlled cameras operate both automatically and manually using the network's patented technique. Now M-Net will combine its expertise in content creation and delivery through new media technologies like SMS, telephony, Internet and interactive television, together with the new remote controlled broadcast technology to produce high quality television signals for transmission via a dedicated DStv channel.

"M-Net is the first broadcaster in the world to launch this innovative concept, and this affirms our position as a worldwide leader at the level of pioneering television and interactive content. The concept presents an opportunity for us to deploy all of the interactive experience and resources we have developed for hit shows like Big Brother and Idols, while taking advantage of the understanding of the audience that these have created,'' says Carl Fischer.

MiTV! offers an excellent synergy between television and the Internet. Once a participant has interacted with the MiTV! ON AIR Studio, they can log into the M-Net online community at www.mnet.co.za. Selected video clips from the MiTV! ON AIR Studios are converted and outstanding participants can view their recordings on the Internet - and send as "greeting cards" to friends. Comments and opinions registered in the MiTV! ON AIR Studios can be extended to forum discussions online, allowing viewers to both review audience performances and respond to topics of interest.

"We are proud to be working with M-Net on this exciting project for South African television. I believe our innovative approach to content production combined with M-Net's knowledge of cross platform interactivity ensures the success of this pioneering channel,'' says Thomas Hohenacker, CEO, earth television network.

Set to launch in November, MiTV! will broadcast on a dedicated DStv Channel and packaged weekly highlights on M-Net. Content generated can also be packaged and supplied to other M-Net channels as programming and comment from MiTV!

This new format promises to make a star of the entire audience, as themes generated from input given by users will determine the kind of content packages for broadcast on the dedicated channel and across M-Net channels on Dstv.




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