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Interactive TV to capture MySpace generation

MyNetworkTV becomes MySpaceTV

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Advanced Television says the exciting new TV station that News Corps Fox is planning to launch late this year in the US, will be given a radical new internet gloss over, modeled on the MySpace social networking site the news giant bought late last year.

News Corp announced the service back in February with no clear new media element to the new network called MyNetworkTV, but effectively this is going to be the TV network for the MySpace generation.

The channel will only run from 8pm to 10pm, six days a week, and is designed to soak up prime time gaps in both Fox owned terrestrial stations, and affiliates that are rapidly becoming disaffected by sharing prime time programs with the internet.

But, controversially, MyTVNetwork will now be built around heavy interaction with the internet. It will feature two 65 episode, five days a week, 13 week TV series entitled "Desire" and "Secrets", with clips freely shareable over the internet and via mobile phones among members of the MyNetworkTV.com website, built around MySpace principles.

The idea is to create a shared experience across neighbourhoods and groups of friends, who will be able to join web groups that contribute to blogs and debates over which direction each series should go in.

Viewers will also be able to vote on which actors should be cast in which roles, based on auditions which are viewable from the website.

Fox owned TV stations will reach 24 per cent of the US market with the new channels, and also offer it aggressively to affiliates at extremely low rates, and good advertising terms for local ad slots, despite this late introduction of internet co-operation.

MyNetworkTV will also feature a nationwide search for a supermodel, a new version of Celebrity Love Island, a live real-time crime series, and an international version of American Idol. News Corp said the new network will begin broadcasting on 5 September with MySpace.com playing a lead promotional role.

Copyright © 2006, Faultline

Faultline is published by Rethink Research, a London-based publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter is an assessment of the impact of the week's events in the world of digital media. Faultline is where media meets technology. Subscription details here.

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