Friday, 26 August 2011

Future of gaming & media (converged entertainment) & social network (Facebook): @Guardian ITV signs gaming deals for Simon Cowell's Red or Black?

This is a very significant piece of news for the converging entertainment sector (media+gaming) for multiple reasons. Because if the show is a success, it will provide:

1.) Strategic incremental source of income:
Media & rights owners are all looking for sustainable incremental revenue in addition to creating & selling new AAA formats (given the state of media fragmentation & decreasing of traditional advertising revenue)

2.) opportunities to find /define the right business model(s) for the converged gaming entertainment category

(media sector has been looking for hits like "Deal or No Deal" for years.. what they need is something more fundamental, like a 'black box' that can be added to program to easily monetise and bring value= that can easily be replicated across international markets in terms of interactive engagement & business model.) Do note that even Facebook is now accepting gaming dollars this week!

3.) a bridge to bring "trust & confidence" between media & format owners AND the gaming gambling sector.

[i.e. Simon Cowell's Syco (production co.) and ITV Studios were looking to have partnership with Camelot (UK national lottery) but since that discussion broken down, they settled with Gamesys (who has long experiences of partnering with published newspaper and media brands already...]

ITV has its unique challenges... since the closure of ITV Play due to PRS (premium rate services) scandal (despite it earned reportedly £26m within six months of launch, on Guardian 5Mar07!), and after a then new chairman Michael Grade come & gone (with Adam Crozier in power, but despite"ITV turns the corner but still needs direction for the future (1Aug10)". ) Therefore, ITV is desperate to find the 'next big thing' in supplementing cash flow without jeopardising their brand/trust with consumers.

Given the above piece of news, no doubt the whole media & entertainment sector worldwide is watching with eagle eyes to see "Red & Black"'s launch & results with muted excitement (no doubt secretly hoping it will be successful, but not that successful.)

Acid test that Red & Black will prove itself in terms of combination of:

A.) ratings & big draw of audience AND interactive participations..
B.) technically resilient (as no doubt it will need to scale up)
C.) the revenue model and expectations of not only viewers (participants) are managed & met
D.) being done responsibly given the previous history of PRS...

E.) given early success of A-D, we will see a lot of copy cats from other production companies (maybe via other formats) or indeed coming out of brands and might even host the games on their corporate B2C website (note the news above or on excerpt below that it will not be on the website as yet! arms length still)

F.) as & when likes of Virgin Games (existed since 2006) ramp up, the basis of competitions for the hearts & mind of the consumers will be very much different indeed (or indeed from other trusted brands in the local market, how about "Saks fifth avenue's Black & White weekend" or "BBC coin flips for charity"...

We might not need to wait too long to find out!! let the Big Boy's games begin!


"ITV strikes deal with gambling company Gamesys and social TV firm Monterosa for paid-for and free games based on show"

"ITV has signed deals with two companies to produce a range of free and paid-for games based on Simon Cowell's new big-budget primetime show Red or Black?.

The show, which will be fronted by Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, gives contestants the chance to win £1m on the spin of a wheel.

ITV has signed a deal with online gambling company Gamesys to produce a series of four pay-to-play games based on the branding of the gameshow.

The games – called Red or Black Slots, Red or Black Instant, Red or Black Hi Lo and Red or Black Stacks – will be available at

The games will be promoted with a TV ad campaign and will cost from 5p to 50p to play. They will not be made available through" Please do refer to full story above link or here.

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