Australian pay-TV operator Austar is adding a local version of popular interactive UK TV channel Two Way TV to its line-up starting from October.

However, the service will initially be one-way as it will not allow users in different locations to compete with each other until there is improvements to Austar's bandwidth capabilities.

One of the games will have a movie theme, but those most likely to drive viewers to the channel's web-site will be built around big prize money. The Two Way TV Australia consortium is headed by Jim McKay and involves former Nine Network and BSkyB boss Sam Chisholm and long-time game show producer Reg Grundy.

Meanwhile, Austar United Communications shares remain volatile since rumours about its acquisition of the broadband cable assets of Cable & Wireless Optus. Analysts have valued the network at between $1.17bn and $2.34m (A$2bn-A$4bn).

Austar currently delivers its services through a combination of digital satellite, HFC cable and fixed wireless technologies. Its 400,000 subscribers can access internet, telephony and over 30 pay-TV channels, including two C7 Sports subscription Olympic channels.

The US' UnitedGlobalCom owns about three-quarters of Austar, which listed on the ASX in July last year. The company is expected to start competing with Foxtel and Optus for city-based subscribers in the near future.