October 16th, 2005

This IHT article looks at “SMS TV” – for short message service – or “participation TV,” a grass-roots form of entertainment in which viewers contribute not only their opinions and votes but also cold cash via their phones.The tide of calls, televotes and text messages – billed at premium rates of more than 1 a message – are building a market that could top 750 million, or more than $900 million, in Europe by the end of the year, according to a McKinsey consulting report.To hook viewers on their handsets, producers are focusing on universal topics like love and money, and eclectic ones like cosmetic surgery. The goal of many of them is to create an international format that will sell across borders, transforming local versions of “Matchmaker” in Holland, for example, to “Compatibles” in Ecuador”.

Cellphones bring dialogue and revenue to TV shows

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