February 4, 2003
Overture's Market-Leading Listings to Power ESPN.com's Enhanced Search Capability in Two-Year Agreement
NEW YORK & PASADENA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 4, 2003-- ESPN.com, the leading sports Web site and a division of ESPN, Inc., and Overture Services, Inc. (Nasdaq:OVER - News), the world's leading provider of Pay-For-Performance search to Web sites across the Internet, today jointly announced that Overture will serve as ESPN.com's exclusive commercial search provider in a two-year distribution agreement.
Under terms of the agreement, ESPN.com will add custom search boxes to its Web pages, serving up to seven Overture search listings under the heading, "Sponsored Results." This implementation will offer fans access to enhanced keyword search, ESPN.com site search and comprehensive Web search. ESPN.com is a widely used source of sports news and information, with more than 15 million unique visitors per month, according to comScore Media Metrix.
"We are excited to add Overture's search functionality, which will be of great benefit to our users," said John Kosner, senior vice president, business operations and programming, ESPN.com. "The combination of Overture's search technology with ESPN.com's content will enable us to offer far more customized information across the site."
Overture's search listings are generated by its base of 73,000 advertisers who bid for placement on keywords relevant to their business. The company's editorial team carefully screens these listings before they are distributed to its affiliate partner network, which includes MSN, Yahoo!, InfoSpace and CNN. Overture currently operates Pay-For-Performance search networks in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan.
"Aligning with ESPN.com is a significant step in our mission of aggressively advancing the distribution of our commercial search service," said Bill Demas, senior vice president and general manager, affiliate business group, Overture. "As a true brand icon in today's consumer landscape, ESPN.com offers an ideal
platform for our advertisers to connect with an active segment of online customers."
ESPN.com, a division of ESPN, Inc., is the leading provider of sports on the Internet. ESPN.com, which is also home to ESPNdeportes.com,
ESPNsoccernet.com and ABCSports.com, also works in conjunction with the Walt Disney Internet Group. ESPN, Inc., The Worldwide Leader in Sports, is a multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia assets in sports marketing with over 40 business entities. The company is comprised of seven domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes (launching 2003), ESPN Now, ESPN Today), ESPN HD (high-definition simulcast service of ESPN launching April 2003), ESPN International (25 international networks and syndication), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Regional Television, SportsTicker and ESPN Enterprises, overseeing brand extensions such as ESPN Zone, an interactive sports-themed dining and entertainment experience. Based in Bristol, Ct., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.
Overture (Nasdaq:OVER - News) is the world's leader in Pay-For-Performance search on the Internet. The company created the market for Pay-For-Performance search by redefining how businesses market online. In the third quarter 2002, Overture facilitated 500 million paid introductions on a worldwide basis between consumers and its approximately 73,000 advertisers, who bid for placement on relevant search results and pay Overture only when a consumer clicks on their listing. Following a rigorous screening for user relevance by Overture's editorial team, the company distributes its search results to tens of thousands of Web sites across the Internet, including MSN, Yahoo! and InfoSpace -- making it the largest Pay-For-Performance search and advertising network on the Internet. Overture is based in Pasadena, California, with offices in New York and San Francisco, and subsidiary offices in the UK, Germany, Ireland, France, Japan and South Korea. For more information, visit www.overture.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements include without limitation statements that users of ESPN.com will use Overture search results, and that ESPN.com users will benefit from Overture's search functionality, and that the combination of Overture search technology with ESPN.com's content will enable ESPN to offer more customized information, and that advertisers and businesses will want to participate in Overture's search results that appear on ESPN.com by seeking enhanced placement in the search results. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include, among others, that the implementation may not be successful or generate revenue for Overture or yield economic benefits to Overture, the risk that Overture's advertisers and businesses may not want traffic from ESPN.com,
and the risk that users of ESPN.com may not use Overture's search results. For a discussion of other risks that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from such forward-looking statements, see the discussion of "Risks That Could Affect Our Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in Overture's 10-Q filing with the SEC for the period ended September 30, 2002. Overture undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this press release.
Overture and Pay-For-Performance are servicemarks of Overture Services, Inc.