SEVRES, France: European interactive television last year generated €1.3 billion ($1.65bn; £873m) in revenues, claims a study by L'Association Française des Développeurs, Editeurs et Fournisseurs de Services en Télévision Interactive (French Professional Association for Interactive Television).

A survey by the organisation reports that as of April there were 380 iTV services available year-round on various multichannel platforms across the continent.

The UK remains the largest iTV market with 150 interactive services. Those on satellite giant BSkyB produced around €660 million in revenue in 2005, making iTV the broadcaster's second largest revenue generator, ahead of advertising.

Comments AFDESI general delegate Jean Dacié: "We did the survey because we wanted to show that iTV services really enrich offers."

Italy and France follow the UK in the iTV league table, while Germany props up the bottom with just 33 services.

Dacié says interactive gambling and lottery services generate the bulk of revenue. But he warns competitive and financial pressures have caused some operators to pull back from their iTV offerings.

He adds: "To make interactive profitable you have to get quite a large base of subscribers. We estimate that you need five million to break even and Sky [with more than 8 million customers] is really the only platform with this kind of base."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff