Agency.com Looks to Break Into U.S. I-TV Market

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Agency.com, a developer of corporate Web sites, interactive television content and wireless Web content, is looking to expand its I-TV services into the U.S. market in midyear.


The company is making the move to the U.S. market in response to gradual expansion in interactive television usage.


"It won't be exponential as with the Internet, but it will be gradual linear growth," Tim Larcombe, regional president of I-TV practice area for North America at Agency.com, said yesterday.


"We are looking to talk to the big U.S. advertisers such as Coke to get them connected to cable operators," he said.


Currently Agency.com provides I-TV services to European retail, banking, entertainment and travel companies such as British Airways.


The company is in discussions with U.S.-based digital and interactive television operators such as DirecTV, EchoStar Communications Corp., Comcast Corp. and AT&T to place their clients' virtual channels on the cable networks. Agency.com plans to have agreements in place at an undisclosed date in mid-2001, Larcombe said.


The New York-based company works with advertisers to develop company-specific channels on interactive television. The company creates program guides, e-mail and chat programs, games, weather and news services in an attempt to add value to these channels. In addition, Agency.com designs interactive advertisements to direct consumers to their clients' channels.


Agency.com has been providing corporate Web development services since 1995 and began its I-TV services in Europe in 1997.


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