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The Interactive Television Alliance made its grand entrance at last month's National Cable show in New Orleans, but now the race is on to cull support from iTV vendors and network operators.

Claiming to be independent, the iTV Alliance's goal is to promote interactive television deployment through consumer awareness campaigns and cross-industry research.

iTV Alliance President Ben Mendelson acknowledged that the interactive television sector is in need of a booster shot, with many iTV companies "waiting passively for something to happen."

The alliance hopes to build consumer demand through a public awareness campaign targeting TV, print and strategically placed kiosks in venues such as consumer electronics stores. The group also plans to conduct consumer research to illustrate the interest in iTV among cable and satellite customers and how much they might be willing to pay for it.

Though the alliance is still assembling its membership, companies such as Liberate Technologies, OpenTV Corp. and WorldGate have publicly endorsed it.

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