NEW YORK--(BW SportsWire)--Sept. 13, 1999--
39-Game Schedule Includes Super Bowl XXXIV Buena Vista Internet Group (BVIG) and ABC is providing Enhanced TV coverage of 39 NFL games on ABC and ESPN this fall, including all regular season ABC's Monday Night Football and ESPN's Sunday Night Football telecasts and all post-season games on ABC, including Super Bowl XXXIV.
The 1999 schedule includes tonight's Miami at Denver Monday Night Football telecast on ABC (9 p.m. ET).
"This is the most ambitious example of convergence currently available to the public," said Kevin Mayer, executive vice president, television network/broadband product and international, BVIG. "ABC's and ESPN's NFL telecasts provide a perfect platform to show how synchronized Internet content provides the viewer with an experience which is much deeper, more compelling, and more entertaining than ever before."
"Our approach to this new and exciting medium allows us to invent TV/Internet programming that are immediately appealing to the future television viewer", said Jonathan Leess, vice president, Enhanced TV, BVIG, and executive producer of the NFL programming project.
"Enhanced TV is the first application to effectively marry the individual control and interactivity of the Internet with the mass appeal of television, thus giving the fan a much richer experience than ever before," said Dick Glover, executive vice president, programming, ESPN. "This is the way sports fans will experience games going forward and ESPN is proud to be the first to present it."
A live production, Enhanced TV enables fans to access unique content via their personal computers that is synchronized, to the second, with every ABC Sports and ESPN NFL telecast. The content is highly interactive, produced from a live control room and offers the user/viewer numerous customized offerings.
Enhanced TV's three main features include: PrimeTime Player(TM), a live, interactive game enabling fans to compete against friends and other viewers throughout the country during the actual NFL telecast; "Game 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 synchronized to the telecasts.
On-air promotions will encourage viewers to log onto Enhanced TV's applications during the telecasts. Links allowing PC users access to the applications will be also positioned throughout GO Network services, including ESPN.com, Monday Night Football Online (abcsports.com), Bowl Championship Series Online (abcsports.com), ABCNEWS.com and ABC.com, as well as NFL.com, prior to and during each broadcast.
Enhanced TV programming, which doesn't include any audio or video, is designed specifically to accompany the television broadcast. It is delivered via an Internet-connected computer and is controlled by the user while watching the game simultaneously on television
It is neither a television experience nor an Internet computer 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.
Enhanced TV content includes:
--A live, interactive game, PrimeTime Player(TM), in which fans predict the ball handler before every play from scrimmage. Points are awarded for every correct choice, and fans can follow their progress on live leaderboards as they compete against thousands of other real-time players nationwide. Players can create their own affinity groups to better keep score among friends. Throughout the telecast, interactive trivia questions, including "watch-and-win" questions, will pop up on the users' screens. Bonus points will be awarded for correct answers and added to PrimeTime Players' scores.
--Access to an interactive data base of game, player and team statistics beamed directly from the television truck game data computer, giving the stats-hungry fan instant access to almost every offensive and defensive statistic.
--A synchronized graphics "Push Channel" display of facts, statistics, quotes, trivia and more, enhancing the television broadcast.
--Clickable banner ads and promos appearing during commercial breaks that will be synchronized with on-air commercials; these banners, linked to marketers' Web sites, can be bookmarked by viewers for future access.
--Future synchronized e-commerce opportunities: in the coming weeks, when a certain player scores a touchdown, for example, viewers will be directed to ESPNstore.com, where they can purchase that player's merchandise at a special discount available to only those experiencing Enhanced TV
--Instant sports news and scores updates from ESPN.com, the most popular sports site on the Web, throughout the telecasts.
Formed in 1997, Disney's Buena Vista Internet Group oversees Web sites that include ABC.com, the No. 1 network Web site; Disney.com, the top-ranking kids' family and entertainment site; ABCNEWS.com, the fastest-growing news site; ESPN.com, the most popular sports site; and Family.com, the Web's premier parenting resource.