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Tuesday, January 4
 
'NHL Rules!' set to drop the puck

ESPN.com, part of GO.com (NYSE:GO), will continue its pioneering ways during ESPN2's Colorado Avalanche-Chicago Blackhawks NHL telecast on Sunday, Jan. 9 (8 p.m. ET) when it records two Internet "firsts": allowing users to interact with on-air analysts during a game telecast, and chatting live with players in between periods of the game.

Throughout the Jan. 9 game, ESPN.com users can pose game-related questions to ESPN2's telecast "host" Steve Levy in the announcer's booth in Chicago's United Center. Levy will relay select rules-related questions to Bill Clement and Darren Pang, ESPN2's co-analysts for the telecast sitting alongside Levy, who will respond.

Several days prior to the game, ESPN.com editors will post a poll allowing ESPN.com users to choose which Colorado and Chicago players they'd like to chat with. The audio-format chats will occur after the first and second periods of the game.

The special interactive features are part of NHL RULES!, a telecast concentrating on the cause and effect of each play on the ice. In response to focus group research revealing that viewers want more education and information during game telecasts, ESPN2's NHL RULES! will feature unique techniques spanning video, audio and the Internet.

"NHL RULES! is a novel way of informing NHL fans of the many rules of the game," said John Marvel, executive editor, ESPN.com. "As the industry leader, ESPN.com is in an ideal position to provide ground-breaking interactive elements which bring fans closer to the action than ever before."

A Sampling Of Other ESPN.com "Firsts"

  • First sports site to introduce event-driven navigational "tabs," enabling fans to quickly view the top stories of the day by sport or event (December 1999)
  • First sports site to provide live televised chat crawl, during ESPN's X Games (July 1999)
  • Places microphones on the two head coaches in the McDonald's All-American High School basketball game, giving users unprecedented access to coaching strategy (March 1999)
  • First sports site to offer audio-format chats (March 1999)

    GO.com was created as part of the recent merger between Infoseek Corporation and The Walt Disney Company's online unit, Buena Vista Internet Group (BVIG). GO.com oversees many of the Web's most popular sites and services, including the go.com portal, ABC.com, ABCNEWS.com, Disney.com, Disneystore.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com, NBA.com, NASCAR Online, ESPNstore.com, ABCsports.com, Family.com and Mr. Showbiz.




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