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RCA to sponsor ABC's HDTV broadcast

Alex Wallau, president of the ABC Television Network, and Mike O'Hara, executive vice president of Worldwide Marketing and Sales for Thomson, announced that Thomson's RCA brand will sponsor ABC's Super Bowl HDTV broadcast.

RCA will be identified on-air as ABC's HDTV sponsor. "Super Bowl XXXVII" will be broadcast on SUNDAY, JANUARY 26, on the ABC Television Network.

"We're delighted that RCA will sponsor the Super Bowl," said Mr. Wallau. "ABC is especially pleased to enhance the viewing experience of this outstanding sports event by offering it in HDTV."

"We're excited to showcase the TV industry's most advanced high-definition capability through sponsorship of ABC's Super Bowl broadcast," said Mike O'Hara. "As the official consumer electronic supplier for the NFL, Thomson knows the value of high-definition football for the digital TV transition. This is great news for football fans and HDTV fans alike."

Last month ABC announced that a number of high-profile sporting events, including the Super Bowl, the National Basketball Association finals and the Stanley Cup, will be broadcast in high definition. In addition the 2003-2004 season of "Monday Night Football" will also be broadcast in HDTV, and it was announced earlier today that ABC's telecast of the 75th annual Academy Awards, on Sunday, March 23, will be broadcast in HD as well.

ABC currently broadcasts the majority of its primetime schedule, including all of its scripted dramas, comedies and theatrical movies, in HDTV. The 2002-2003 primetime HDTV broadcasts bring the network's total HDTV primetime broadcasts to more than 16 hours per week.

ABC was the first major network to broadcast in HDTV, beginning in November 1998, and it is the only major broadcast network currently airing its HD programming in Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround sound. All of ABC's programs will use 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HDTV format.

In September 2001 ABC made a major commitment to HDTV programming when it began broadcasting the majority of its primetime schedule in HDTV, including all of its primetime comedy and drama series, as well as all theatrical movies. For the 2001-02 broadcast season, ABC broadcast more than 500 hours of HDTV programming, and the network plans to broadcast even more hours in HD this season.

ABC began broadcasting high-definition television, including Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround sound, beginning on November 1, 1998, with the theatrical presentation of "The Wonderful World of Disney: 101 Dalmatians." Since then ABC has broadcast many other theatricals in HDTV, as well as numerous sporting events. Those include the first live, regularly scheduled HDTV sporting event in primetime, the 1999-2000 season of "Monday Night Football." ABC has also broadcast "Super Bowl XXXIV" and the "2000 National Hockey League All-Star Game" in HDTV. Currently 79 of ABC's owned and affiliated stations are broadcasting digital TV, covering 69% of the nation, with 65 of those stations broadcasting in HDTV.

With sales of 10.5 billion Euros (U.S. $ 9.3 billion) in 2001, Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides a wide range of video (and enabling) technologies, systems, finished products and services to consumers and professionals in the entertainment and media industries. To advance and enable the digital media transition, Thomson has five principal divisions: Digital Media Solutions, Displays and Components, Consumer Products, Patents and Licensing and New Media Services. The company distributes its products under the Technicolor, Grass Valley, Thomson and RCA brand names. Thomson's Consumer Products division is represented by a broad range of home entertainment products, marketed primarily under the RCA brand in the Americas and under the Thomson brand in Europe. Thomson is a leader in high-definition digital television, mp3 digital audio, digital satellite decoder, digital cable and DSL modem, and DVD products. The company's most advanced consumer products are sold under the RCA Scenium banner, emphasizing superior technology and elegant design.

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