Darlo TV data firm signs Foxtel digital deal

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Darlinghurst-based TV program data supplier HWW has signed a three-year contract with Foxtel to provide data to about 100 new digital TV channels.

The listed Sydney company said in a statement it would supply a range of data aggregation, cleaning and content management services to Foxtel's pay digital channels, which are slated for launch in the first half of this year.

Paul Marshall, CEO at HWW, claimed the company was the only one in Australia that could ensure TV program listing data was "consistently accurate", which he put down to HWW's electronic TV guide publishing experience.

"We have staff working 365 days a year -- 366 in 2004 -- on TV program listings and amendments," Marshall said.

He said supplying TV metadata was a "commercially significant" focus for HWW, which also used data capture technology and content management systems to supply program listings and associated services to Optus, Telstra, Vodafone, Orange, Yahoo! Australia and NZ, ninemsn, AOL/7, ourbrisbane.com and TransACT.

Kim Williams, CEO at Foxtel, said the data would feed a key digital guide for subscribers, a magazine and a website.

"This level of programming information has never been seen before in Australia. It is critical that we have accurate listings data 24 hours a day across the entire service," Williams said.

Last year, HWW created a metadata services division specifically targeting a perceived demand for managed TV program listings. The division offered services for the management, aggregation, analysis, cleaning and publishing of listings information for TV industry players and their business partners, the company said in a statement.

HWW also has three other divisions -- HWW Content, HWW Content Services, HWW Publishing -- and a joint venture, Australian Property Monitors, with newspaper publisher John Fairfax & Sons.

Pay TV provider Foxtel is 50 percent-owned by Telstra, 25 percent-owned by News Corporation and 25 percent-owned by Publishing and Broadcasting.


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