Print and Go Back ESPN.com: PR [Print without images]

Tuesday, September 12, 2000
Enhanced TV booming on ABC, ESPN


September 12, 2000

More than 333,000 viewers took advantage of Walt Disney Internet Group (NYSE:DIG) & ABC, Inc.'s Enhanced TV telecasts of ESPN's Sunday Night Football and ABC's Primetime Emmy Awards program Sunday, September 10.

"These impressive numbers prove that there is, in fact, an existing audience for true interactive television, and that our Enhanced TV programming continues to be popular for both sports and entertainment programming," said Jonathan Leess, senior vice president, general manager and executive producer for WDIG & ABC, Inc.'s Enhanced TV unit. "In addition to our play-along games, we provided the interactive viewers with the ability to respond to the TV announcers questions, live, instantly, with the results displayed on the air. Allowing viewers to realize a two-way connection between the actual telecasts and themselves is a very powerful step in true interactive TV programming and seems to be gathering some momentum."

The Enhanced TV telecast of the 52nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards program attracted 184,000 viewers, and was the first time that viewers were able to interact with the telecast, compete with other viewers, and play an interactive synchronized game, all while they watched the awards ceremony. The Enhanced TV production of ESPN's Sunday Night Football match-up featuring Dallas and Arizona drew 149,000 viewers, compared to approximately 135,000 for the season-opening September 3 telecast, and 70 percent greater than last year's season average. The average user connect time during the Emmy telecast was 49 minutes each, and the average for the first three NFL telecasts is 35 minutes. The Enhanced TV telecast in conjunction with the September 4 season premier of ABC's Monday Night Football generated approximately 175,000 viewers, a 60 percent increase over last year's season average. Some 70 percent of the viewers tuning into the Enhanced TV productions of the September 3-4 ESPN Sunday Night Football and ABC Monday Night Football telecasts did not log on to Enhanced TV NFL telecasts last season.

A live production, ABC's Enhanced TV is the most innovative application of real-time television-Internet convergence available today. It enables TV viewers to interact with the traditional telecast on TV through the use of their personal computers at the same time. The highly interactive content, which is produced from a live control room and synchronized to the second, offers users/viewers an opportunity to immerse themselves even deeper into the TV program.

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.