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Q: NTN ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: NTN
Category: Sports and Recreation > Trivia
Asked by: mongolia-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 25 May 2005 16:52 PDT
Expires: 24 Jun 2005 16:52 PDT
Question ID: 525651
Many of you are probably familiar with NTN the interactive pub quiz
trivia game which has now been operating for some years in the USA and

I am very surprised that this type of service has never emerged in the
UK where pub quiz games proliferate but based more on ancient
technology (i.e. pencil , paper and quizmaster who is sometimes the
pub landlord).

I have  heard that there was an attempt to bring this into the UK some
years ago, but it failed. I would like to know more about any attempt
to introduce an NTN quiz type system to the UK, why it did not work
and if there are any ongoing efforts to introduce this type of
program/entertainment to the UK?
Subject: Re: NTN
Answered By: answerfinder-ga on 26 May 2005 02:54 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear mongolia-ga,
Your question was the first reference I have heard to this interactive
quiz system, so this has been an education for me.  It looks as if
this has been recently launched in the UK under the name ?Buzztime?.

This press release by NTN Communications is dated 2nd March 2005 and
reports that they are going to try it out in some UK pubs.

"Termed "The Buzztime Interactive Entertainment Network" in the UK
market, Buzztime initially launching in eleven sites -- four in
London, two in Leicester, and one each in Westcliff, Croydon,
Aylesbury, Northampton and Nottingham. The Network uses TV screens to
display the questions and wireless handheld game controllers, called
Playmakers®, for players to input their answers (...) Themed games
start every half hour from 11am until 11pm covering subjects such as
Travel, Sports, History and General Trivia. In addition, between 7pm
and 8pm each night, there are more challenging Buzztime Premier Games
that during promotional periods offer valuable prizes to the winning
teams and pubs."

Buzztime?s web site is
On it you can review the list of pubs where it is currently available:
Aylesbury, Westcliff on Sea, London, Leicester, Northampton,
Nottingham and Croydon. It also has an on-line demonstration and a
full page of FAQS.

This UK Quiz web site discusses Buzztime. You may also be interested
to read the comments on their forum.

You will see on the forum that some of the contributors refer to a
previous attempt to launch this style of quiz by the name of 'Twin
Network'. This was commenced in 1991 and was a joint project between
NTN, Twin Network Limited (part of the Whitbread Group). I have found
media references to it before 1994 but then the trail goes cold. I
cannot find as to why it was not successful (I have searched two
on-line news database).

Most of the information below is taken from LexisNexis news database
where if you need to view the articles, they will cost you $2.50 each.

Biography of Alastair Duncan, a Marketing Chief Executice
"After flirting with journalism, theatre, marketing and advertising, I
found my métier in interactive media around 1990 designing a new brand
called Twin Network., which broadcast interactive quizzes and sports
programmes into pubs. It all seemed quite mad then, but is quite
normal now, in an internet savvy world. It taught me not to
underestimate the difficulties associated with technology, and that
you could pretty much do anything if you had ideas."

In Business Wire, January 15, 1991, it was announced that NTN
Communications Inc. and TWIN Network Ltd. a member of The Whitbread
Group, planned an initial rollout plan for the British-based
interactive network for 1991.

"Michael Barnard, managing director of TWIN Network Ltd., stated:
''Our interactive broadcast facility, utilizing the BBC Datacast
System is now completely operational. The original five (5) test sites
have worked well and we are delighted with the ease with which NTN has
been able to install the TWIN system in the U.K."

The product allowed participants to watch live television and, using a
wireless remote terminal, input their prediction on the next football
game, horse race, or trivia answer. They played against their friends
in a given location or across the entire network. It was reported that
they intended placing the product in eighty locations.

A later PR Newswire Europe report dated June 15, 1991, reported that
it was to go live in more than eighty pubs on 18 June.
It quoted a spokesman as saying "We will test 85 pubs over the next
couple of months to refine and develop our package, which will be
delivering more than 56 hours of entertainment every week. We know
we've got the biggest game show in the world"

The next reference is from The Observer of May 16, 1993, when
activities in pubs were discussed. This included these comments.

"Players link into a national computer via a screen in the bar and
individual hand-held consoles on which they key the answers to
multiple-choice questions. Games start at noon and are broadcast at
intervals throughout the day culminating in the big game at 9pm. After
each contest the names of the best pub and the best player appear on
the screen. They thus become celebrities on the network, which even
has its own newsletter.
Spokeswoman Sian Phillips for Twin Network, who operate quizzes in 150
British pubs, says, 'Sometimes the pub will give a prize and sometimes
we do, but our research shows people play for fun rather than anything
else. They can get absolutely passionate about it. They say it's
changed their lifestyle, and for many retired people it is the only
chance they have to use their brains."

LexisNexis news database ? pay by credit card

I hope this answers your question. If it does not, or the answer is
unclear, then please ask for clarification of this research before
rating the answer. I shall respond to the clarification request as
soon as I receive it.
Thank you

Search strategy
Started with NTN quiz game uk and followed  the links
UK newspaper database thorough my library
mongolia-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $7.00
One of the best answers I have gotten from this service. It was also
timely in that I had no idea that NTN have actually begun to pilot the
system in the UK. What is interesting is that this system has been
going so long in North America in fact predating the Internet by a
number of years. As well as players competing among each other within
a pub or bar , you can also see how you stand up against other bars.
Perhaps the unfortunate thing is if it does take off it in the IK it
will make obsolete the old fashioned type of pub quiz. Hopwever next
time I am in London I cannot wait to try it out!!
Very best regards.

Subject: Re: NTN
From: answerfinder-ga on 26 May 2005 10:58 PDT
Many thanks for the tip. I must admit, I think I would prefer the old
fashioned method. The demo looked far too quick for me. I?m knocking
on a bit and the brain cells are a little bit slower nowadays so the
pencil and paper method gives me that extra time. One thing it that it
will stop is people who cheat using their mobile phones to get the
answers. With this system they will not have time to text their mates.

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