Irish terrestrial broadcaster RTE has launched an innovative, interactive scheme which allows its viewers to vote for and choose the film they want to watch each week.
Called Cinepicks, the scheme sees viewers vote for one of two possible films. Viewers vote by calling one of two premium rate telephone numbers and the film registering the most calls is then screened.
For example, on the night before Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines opened in Irish cinemas, James Cameron's original Terminator beat Paul Anderson's Soldier to secure an airing on RTE.
The titles of the Cinepicks choices are advertised a week before broadcast on RTE's two channels and in the broadcaster's own 'RTE Guide', Ireland's biggest selling magazine. The number of calls/votes has been increasing week on week with more than a 1,000 a week now being registered.
The brainchild of Richard Collumb and Dermot Horan of RTE's Programme Acquisitions Department, Cinepicks started on a pilot basis on July 3 and over an eight week period is offering a choice of feature films at 9.30 on Thursday evenings on the station's Network 2 channel.
Considered a success so far, particularly with adults in the 15-24 and 15-34 age brackets (with a male skew), RTE will consider bringing the idea back in 2004 following a review after the series ends.
Choice to date include Black Rain v. Highlander (Highlander won); Another 48 Hours v. Predator II (Predator II won), Sphere v. Fallen (Fallen won) and Rob Roy v. Starship Troopers (Starship Troopers won).