YooPlay Games (lost interactive TV game service; 2003-2006)
YooPlay/YooPlay Games was an interactive TV service which featured gambling and betting games. The channel was available on Freeview channel 106, the NTL Interactive menu, the Telewest Interactive menu, and the Sky Digital Interactive menu. On Sky, YooPlay Games was replaced by YooPlay TV (channel 850).
The channel officially launched on Freeview channel 53 (multiplex D) on May 23rd, 2003 as Free2Play, with all the games on the channel available to play free of charge (as well as offering access to various ring tones, Java-based games, and radio). However, later that year the channel introduced paid-for content games, in which the player had to phone-in a premium rate number to gain access to the channel, hence the channel's re-branding to F2P Games the following year. In late 2004, F2P dropped the brand completely and aligned with its sister on Sky Digital, YooPlay Games.
In late 2005 the service switched to multiplex C. Around this time, YooMedia decided to lease certain hours of the channel's bandwidth to other broadcasters, namely overnight EPG services (presently tvtv DIGITAL), and reduced the output on the YooPlay Games channel significantly. The games channel was closed entirely on July 18th, 2006, when YooMedia leased its remaining capacity to SMG plc's Virgin Radio (broadcasting on Freeview channel 727). YooMedia's EPG-service contract remains in place.
No footage of the channel has surfaced online in any form, but there are several screenshots of the games one could play on the service.
- An archive of the early 2000s YooMedia website. Retrieved 12 Aug '16
- An archive of the mid-2000s YooPlay website. Retrieved 12 Aug '16
- An archive the Freeview site. Retrieved 12 Aug '16
- Itvt article on the announcement to launch a new channel on Sky. Retrieved 12 Aug '16
- The Guardian article on Five joining Sky for a multichannel venture. Retrieved 12 Aug '16
- A Campaign article on the Five deal. Retrieved 12 Aug '16
- Digitalspy article on the Five deal. Retrieved 12 Aug '16
- Informitv article on Yoomedia launching an interactive TV channel with Five. Retrieved 12 Aug '16
- ITVT Wordpress article on the Yoomedia/Five interactive TV channel. Retrieved 12 Aug '16