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2waytraffic makes a tough call

Co. pulls plug on phone-in TV programs

BRUSSELS — Dutch interactive TV producer 2waytraffic is phasing out its phone-in TV programs in Europe, it announced Monday, as uncertainties continue over gambling rules.

This includes programs broadcast in The Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Romania and Hungary.

The reorganization will cost the company some €1 million ($1.5 million) in the current financial year, with a further $1.5 million of intangible assets to be written off.

Call TV has had a particularly hard time in the Netherlands this year, where new gambling rules prompted broadcasters RTL and SBS to cancel programs. But it is the broader climate for call TV that has forced 2waytraffic’s hand.

“The business of traditional call TV in Western Europe has been very difficult for the company this year,” said topper Kees Abrahams. “The decision to withdraw will let us concentrate on our core businesses.”

Amongst other things, 2waytraffic owns the “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” format, having bought Celador Intl. last year.

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