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Friendly TV to launch May 12

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Friendly TV, a new live "play along" entertainment channel, is to launch on May 12 for digital satellite viewers.

"Friendly TV is the first live play-along entertainment channel and will target a broad viewer audience," explained the channel's managing director, David Wainwright. "The channel will have live, original programming with a rolling schedule of chat, quizzes, trivia and games. Viewers can offer opinions and comment direct and see their responses on screen within minutes.

"The broadcast content will have computer game applications overlaid onto the broadcast stream that will allow the viewer to interact via SMS Text messaging and premium rate telephony."

Friendly TV's studio-based presenters will review the latest games and applications, as well as offering viewers the chance to win them in regular competitions. A host of mobile content services including ring tones, logos, screensavers and Java games developed by Friendly's commercial partners will be advertised for purchase.

The channel is a joint venture between games developer Hi2 and SMS service provider Opera Telecoms. Opera's managing director Gary Corbett said he anticipated a quick return on his investment. "We expect the channel to return its investment in months," said. "In addition to the telephony revenue streams there will be a focus on Advertising Sales."