WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – For those addicted to the Scott Peterson trial, Court TV is offering instant text messages with the jury’s verdict.

The crime-and-punishment cable channel is allowing its Web site users to sign up for free wireless text messages that will announce both when the jury has come back from deliberations and the verdict. The second will simply contain the words “guilty” or “not guilty.”

Both messages will direct the message recipient to Court TV and courttv.com for additional breaking news.

Peterson is accused of murdering his pregnant wife, Laci, and their unborn son in December 2002. If convicted, Peterson could face the death penalty.

“This is the first time we’ve done this,” said Andie Silvers of Court TV. “The demand for Peterson is just so intense we thought this made sense.”

Courttv.com credits the Peterson trial for a huge growth in its Web site traffic. Since the trial began June 1, the site had seen its traffic increase from about 6 million or 7 million hits a week to nearly 10 million.

“On our Web site, there is no doubt about the huge interest in the Peterson case,” Silvers said. “You look at where people go on our site and you take a look at the feedback, you see people really care about the trial.”

That may be an understatement when you consider since the service was offered Oct. 29, 80,000 people have signed up to get the free verdict text message sent to their cell phones. Juice Wireless, that is partnering with Court TV on the text alert offer, has estimated 100,000 people eventually will sign up for the deal.

“People certainly seem interested in getting these alerts,” Silvers said.


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