|Thursday, August 10
Updated: August 30, 4:20 PM ET
Primetime football and Enhanced TV line up on ABC, ESPN
August 30, 2000
Walt Disney Internet Group (NYSE:DIG) and ABC Television will produce Enhanced TV coverage of every ABC Monday Night Football and ESPN Sunday Night Football telecast during the 2000 NFL season, enabling football fans to access live synchronized programming with every primetime NFL telecast on ABC and ESPN this fall. Accessible via the Internet, the content is highly interactive, produced from a live control room, and offers users/viewers numerous customized programming options while they watch the telecast on TV.
The season opener September 3rd Sunday Night Football game on ESPN matches Tennessee against Buffalo, while the September 4th Monday Night Football game has Denver visiting St. Louis. ABC's Enhanced TV is accessible via ESPN.com, Mondaynightfootball.com, ABCSports.com, ABC.com, ABCNEWS.com, and NFL.com. (Direct access to all ETV programming through http://heavy.etv.go.com/etvHome/.
"This is the closest thing to true convergent programming available on the market today," said Jonathan Leess, senior vice president, general manager and executive producer of Walt Disney Internet Group and ABC's Enhanced TV. "We have created an interactive viewing experience that is unparalleled in the television industry."
Walt Disney Internet Group and ABC's Enhanced TV's three main features include: PrimeTime Player, an exclusive, live, interactive game enabling fans to compete against friends and other viewers throughout the country during the actual NFL telecast; Live Stats, a continuously updated, real-time interactive database of game, player and team statistics originating from the production truck on-site at each game; and a ?Push Channel? of enhanced graphics, game freeze frames, live polls, and trivia , which automatically appear on the users' computer screen, instantly and synchronized to the telecast.
ABC's Enhanced TV also uses proprietary ?real-time polling engines? which allow the viewer to answer questions posed by the TV announcers and see their responses graphically presented live on television.
ABC's Enhanced TV programming is neither a television experience nor an Internet experience, but truly both at the same time -- the first step towards in-home convergence programming. Anyone with a personal computer, connected to the Internet via 28.8 modem or better, will have access to the Enhanced TV programming applications. It's accessible only during the telecast and designed to be complimentary to the telecast, so a computer and TV in the same room is ideal.
Enhanced TV programming was available for ABC and ESPN primetime NFL telecasts throughout the 1999 season, as well as for ABC's Super Bowl XXXIV telecast January 30, 2000. More than 650,000 viewers experienced the Enhanced TV Super Bowl telecast.
Walt Disney Internet Group and ABC's Enhanced TV has been producing an interactive play-along game during every telecast of the hit show ?Who Wants to be a Millionaire? where close to 8 million interactive viewers have participated since it launched in late March. Average connect time is 41 minutes per viewer/user with an average of 2 players per computer. An Enhanced TV telecast will also be produced in conjunction with ABC Television's live telecast of the September 10 Primetime Emmy Awards Show.
Walt Disney Internet Group (NYSE:DIG) manages some of the Internet's most popular Web sites, including ABC.com, ABCNEWS.com, ABCSports.com, Disney.com, Disneystore.com, DisneyTravel.com, ESPN.com, Family.com, GO.com, Movies.com, Mr. Showbiz, NASCAR Online, NBA.com, NFL.com and Soccernet. The Internet Group also includes The Walt Disney Company's direct marketing business. Steve Bornstein is chairman of Walt Disney Internet Group, which is headquartered in North Hollywood, Calif., with operations in Sunnyvale, Calif.; Seattle; New York; Bristol, Conn.; and London. For more information, visit our web site at www.dig.com