12/31/2002 - ABC Sports, in conjunction with Walt Disney Internet Groupís Enhanced TV division (ETV), Ford Motors and Open TV subsidiary WINK Communications, will produce interactive television programming for the 2003 Bowl Championship Series. Enhanced TV will be available to viewers with an internet connected computer at ESPN.COM during the Rose Bowl (1/1), Nokia Sugar Bowl (1/1), FedEx Orange Bowl (1/2) and the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (1/3). ETV will make use of OpenTVís enhanced TV service, WINK, to provide single-screen interactive elements during each game telecast including a trailblazing real-time statistics application. Ford, and the Built Ford Tough Play of the Game present the Interactive BCS.
ďABC Sports live coverage of the BCS will be taken to a new level for the viewers with Enhanced TV on both the PC and TV with Open TVís WINK service,Ē said Rick Mandler, Vice President and GM of the ETV Group. ďWhile ABC Sports presents their classic ĎChampionship Televisioní, ETV will provide a rich real-time interactive experience that will keep viewers tuned in and logged on during all four games from kickoff to final gun.Ē
ETVís PC based interactive TV application includes the Prime Time Player game which allows users to predict the outcome of each play as they happen and earn points for correct choices. In addition to the game, Enhanced TVís football programming features Live Stats, a real-time, interactive database of game, player and team statistics; Push Channel, which displays enhanced graphics, statistics and trivia synchronous to the action; Instant Polling and Live Comments, which enables users to voice their opinions throughout the game both on the ETV application and on-air. Fans accumulate points based on their performance, and top scorers are eligible for prizes. Each user playing ETV for any/all bowl game(s) will be eligible for the Grand Prize, an all-expenses paid trip for two to the 2004 National Championship Game. To access the application, viewers should log on to ESPN.com, and click on the ETV logo, or use Keyword: ETV.
OpenTV, through its subsidiary Wink Communications, provides an end-to-end solution for sending interactive applications along with broadcast video to viewersí televisions. ABC Sports' broadcast of the College Football "Bowl Championship Series" is ABC's first recent broadcast of a Wink-enhanced program; it will allow sports fans to use their set-top box remote control to scroll through real-time statistics, access scores of other Bowl Games, and obtain more information about the eight competing BCS teams. Through Open TVís WINK service, Ford has the ability to gauge viewer response and interaction. The application can engage the viewer more deeply by allowing access to detailed program information using a remote control.
"It's exciting to work together with ABC and Ford to build new television viewing experiences," said James Ackerman, CEO of OpenTV. "Sports programming has been one of the most successful avenues for introducing interactivity and we believe that bowl game viewers will enjoy the interactive enhancements powered by Open TVís WINK service, including the ability to instantly retrieve player and game statistics while they watch the Bowl Championship Series."
About Enhanced TV
ABCís Enhanced TV programming is delivered via an Internet-connected computer and is controlled by the user while watching the show simultaneously on television. Anyone with a personal computer, connected to the Internet via 28.8 modem or better, will have access to Enhanced TV programming applications. Access to the programming is free to all users; however, users must register in order to be eligible for prizes. ETV has produced two-screen interactive applications for the 1999 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, 2000 FedEx Orange Bowl, 2001 Super Bowl XXIV, Monday Night Football, ESPNís Sunday Night Football & Sunday Night Baseball, and the Lincoln Financial Group Battle @ Bighorn. For more information about ABCís Enhanced TV, log on to etv.go.com
Wink Communications is a wholly owned subsidiary of OpenTV (NASDAQ and Euronext Amsterdam: OPTV). Open TVís WINK service allows advertisers, merchants and broadcast and cable networks to create interactive enhancements to traditional television advertisements and programs, and gives viewers access to program-related information such as news, sports and weather.
For further information, visuals or an interview please contact:
JLM Partners - OpenTV
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