WDIG and ABC to Produce Enhanced Television Programming During Emmys

WDIG and ABC to Produce Enhanced Television Programming During Emmys

Walt Disney Internet Group & ABC Television to Produce Enhanced Television Programming During September 10 ABC Primetime Emmy Awards Telecast

Viewers Will Interact With Telecast For First Time

Walt Disney Internet Group and ABC Television will produce Enhanced Television programming during ABC Television's live telecast of the 52nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards program originating from the historic Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles September 10, 2000 (8 PM ET/CT), allowing TV viewers to experience the future of interactive television.

For the first time ever in the history of the Primetime Emmy Awards, TV viewers will be able to interact with the telecast, compete with other viewers, and play an interactive synchronized game, all while they watch the awards ceremony. The traditional Primetime Emmy Awards telecast will be executive produced by Don Mischer and hosted by Garry Shandling, who plan to integrate the Enhanced TV programming within the telecast itself.

Nokia will be the sponsor of the Prime Time Emmy Enhanced TV coverage of the Pick The Winner and Interactive Trivia Game, the Leaderboard and survey pages as well as Bonus questions that will be related to and synchronized to their television commercials that air during the telecast.

Viewers can access the Enhanced TV telecast via ABC.com's home page one hour leading up to and during the telecast.

"We are extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to showcase our Enhanced TV programming during the Prime Time Emmy Awards Telecast," said Jonathan Leess, senior vice president, general manager and executive producer, Enhanced TV, Walt Disney Internet Group and ABC, Inc. "Giving TV viewers the opportunity to interact with the telecast and watch the show in a deeper and more compelling manner, is the essence of interactive television."

"Encouraging the audience to explore the expanding universe of television is one of the goals of the Academy," said Meryl Marshall, chairman and CEO, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. "We are excited about participating in this groundbreaking venture with GO.com and ABC."

As part of the Enhanced Television programming for the Primetime Emmys, viewers at home logging on to the application on their personal computer will be prompted to predict the winner of each award category via a dynamic interactive ballot, as they are presented on Television. Points will be awarded for correct answers with bonus points awarded for fastest choices. A live leaderboard will allow viewers to gauge their progress against other viewers, as well as the top-scoring 10 players. They can also create their own private leaderboard and invite friends to compete against each other in groups. Private chat rooms will let viewers chat with their leaderboard competitors in real time. Prizes will be awarded to highest scorers.

Viewers will also have the opportunity to test their knowledge of television with real-time trivia questions, synchronized to the telecast, about the awards show, the stars and the TV commercials, allowing them to gain additional bonus points to their interactive game. Furthermore, the application will feature live, instant interactive polls with animated bar graph results, as well as graphics containing information about the award categories and honorees that will be pushed directly to their computer screen. Throughout the telecast, Don Mischer can prompt Garry Shandling to ask the TV audience a question, and within seconds, Don will be able to visually show the attending and viewing audience the results of the interactive audience's responses using his television graphics devices.

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 and ABC currently produce Enhanced TV telecasts for ABC's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" programming, with more than 7 million viewers having played since Enhanced TV's March 28 debut. Average connection time is 41 minutes. Enhanced TV will also be available for ABC and ESPN's primetime National Football League telecasts this fall.

Enhanced TV programming 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 show 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. Users must have 4.0 version browsers or better in order to receive the interactive programming. Access to the programming is free to all users.

-- Posted August 30, 2000

Source: Company Press Release