Two Way TV hit as roll out is stalled

The future of Two Way TV, the interactive TV games system, is in doubt after the company postponed its national roll out, which was scheduled for October.

The system comprises a set-top box and a pair of handsets, which allow viewers to join in TV game shows like Family Fortunes and Countdown. The company has decided to drop its previous commitment to analogue boxes, costing 100 at retail, and to refocus on digital technology instead.

British Interactive Broadcasting (BIB), the digital interactive home shopping system, has confirmed it opened negotiations with Two Way TV last month. Publicly, Two Way TV says it will continue to make analogue boxes. However, a source close to the company says if it can agree terms, its national roll out will be through the BIB system. The autumn launch campaign through its agency Saatchi & Saatchi is understood to have been cancelled.

Two Way TV, which has Ladbrokes as one of its backers, has been tested in the Central TV region since March, but has only sold about 30,000 sets.

A source close to the company says: “Nobody wants to buy this system when hundreds of digital broadcasting channels are around the corner. Time has passed it by.”

Earlier this summer, the company pulled out of a promotional tie-up with Flextech cable game show channel Challenge TV. Two Way TV has a marketing budget of about 20m.

However, Two Way TV’s managing director Simon Cornwell says households with Two Way TV boxes watch ten hours more TV each week than the national average.

“These are precisely the requirements digital broadcasters must meet to persuade consumers to pay extra for new services and to generate viewer loyalty,” he adds.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here