Online Gaming makes prime time television

TeliaSonera International Carrier, leading provider of services to the online gaming industry, game developer SimBin and Sweden’s leading broadcaster TV4 have teamed up to launch Virtual Grand Prix, a world first in online gaming programming.

Virtual Grand Prix, VGP, is an innovative TV format where most of the action takes place in a virtual world, in this case represented by the racing game Race 07. Multiple cameras are operated from within the game and lets viewers follow the finals from an “in-game” perspective. Hopeful virtual racers can download a free game demo on VGP.se and compete for a seat on the weekly finals. The series will be broadcast on TV4 Plus, one of Sweden’s mainstream terrestrial channels, as well as on TV4 Sport, and the ultimate winner receives SEK 100,000.

TeliaSonera International Carrier, Europes’ largest IP carrier, will provide and fully manage the online infrastructure for VGP, ensuring that online competitors and finalists are not hampered by technical difficulties.

“We believe that this is the first time that a mainstream TV network has aired an entire series based on a competitive online tournament with in-game TV production. This is an indication that traditional media recognises the value, reach and appeal of the online gaming community” said Anna Mossberg, Vice President of Product Management and Marketing, TeliaSonera International Carrier.

“Since this is a world first and as the company powering all the games, we need to make sure that there are no latency or technical issues – the fact we have signed up for Virtual Grand Prix is proof of this”, Mossberg added.

“On-line gaming is no longer a niche interest; huge numbers of people now play online games all over the world. Virtual Grand Prix has already attracted thousands of gamers and we believe that our head to head finals will make for compelling television”, said, Johan Kleberg, acting head of TV4 New Channels.

The VGP tournament was conceived by Gaming Media Group AB, specialised in innovative gaming concepts for TV and online audiences. Swedish game developer SimBin have also created GTR, GTR2 and GT Legends. Qualification to Virtual Grand Prix started online on August 1st and the first of the its ten episodes will premiere on September on TV4 Plus16th.

Along with the Internet connectivity services TeliaSonera International Carrier are also together with HP, providing, the international online gaming community with complete infrastructure services – co-location, hardware and management – all available as specific customer-built solutions with close attention to high quality and increased service flexibility.

For further information journalists can contact:
TeliaSonera Press service , +46-(0)8-713 58 30

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Statements made in the press release relating to future status or circumstances, including future performance and other trend projections are forward-looking statements. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. There can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements due to many factors, many of which are outside the control of TeliaSonera.