MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., and SAN FRANCISCO, March 23, 2000 — WebTV Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq
), and Quokka Sports, Inc. (Nasdaq
“QKKA” ), a leading provider of sports entertainment for the digital world™ , today announced they are teaming this spring to bring Mount Everest into the homes and classrooms of television viewers and Internet users around the world. Everest 2000, a major expedition sponsored by WebTV Networks and covered by Quokka Sports, began today and will feature eight weeks of adventure, excitement and education, as a global audience follows this expedition through the eyes, hearts and minds of the adventurers while they tell their own stories, in their own words.
Everest veterans Eric Simonson of Expedition 8000, LLC, and Robert Link of Mountain Link, Inc., will team with WebTV Networks and Quokka Sports during the expedition, which can be followed daily on the Quokka.com Web site and graphically optimized for viewing on the Microsoft® WebTV Network TM service. Filmmakers Michael Brown and Dave Hahn will accompany the climbers and provide video footage for the Quokka Sports Web site, enabling users to experience virtually the rigors and excitement of the Everest adventure. Brown also will use the footage to create a television documentary, expected to air this fall, which will be combined with interactive elements to create a truly immersive interactive TV experience for subscribers to the WebTV® service. The WebTV service currently features over 500 weekly hours of interactive programs, including sports, entertainment, news and special interest shows. Additional details on the interactive Everest program will be made available following the completion of the expedition.
WebTV and Quokka.com will focus a portion of the coverage on up-and-coming mountaineer Kim Gattone, a sixth-grade schoolteacher from Santa Fe, N.M., who is making her quest to reach the summit. Gattone has developed a curriculum,
“Dreams Happen: Everest 2000,”
that will be delivered to schools via the WebTV service. The curriculum will enable students to learn more about the climate and landscape of Mount Everest; the history, people and culture of Nepal and the Himalayan region; mountaineering strategy, techniques, equipment and training; teamwork; and high-altitude physiology. The curriculum will be available at the Quokka Sports Web site (Quokka.com) on the Internet, and to subscribers to the WebTV Classic Internet service and WebTV Plus Interactive service, and will be combined with unique interactive elements such as maps, weather information and photographs from the expedition. In addition, the home and schoolroom audiences will have the opportunity to interact directly with Kim and other expedition team members throughout the expedition via Quokka.com and WebTV.
The Quokka Sports’ online coverage will include audio and video news reports, expert commentary, e-mail journals from team members, and digital photo and video images dispatched directly from Mount Everest via state-of-the-art satellite communications.
The expedition team left for Nepal on March 20 and is scheduled to reach the summit the week of May 7. Link is the expedition leader and will direct all activities of the expedition on the mountain. Simonson, who made headline news last year for leading the Mount Everest expedition that discovered the body of explorer George Leigh Mallory, is the expedition organizer. In addition to providing expert commentary, he will provide all planning and logistics and procure the equipment for the climb. Additional sponsorship support for the expedition will be provided by Mountain Link’s parent company, Mountain Hardwear, Inc.
About Quokka Sports
Quokka Sports, Inc., has created a branded sports entertainment network delivering unique interactive sports experiences fulfilling the entertainment passions of a global community of sports enthusiasts. The Quokka Sports Network is designed to deliver each sports community with the deepest and most comprehensive coverage of their sport and associated lifestyle, community commerce and game features. With rich content that leverages technology’s potential for merging entertainment and information, Quokka Sports is a leading provider of sports entertainment for the digital world. The Quokka Sports Network includes a variety of entertainment properties, including the following:
Quokka.com, providing regular features, news with an edge, community, commerce and games
Sports Verticals, deep event coverage of sports including sailing (America’s Cup, BT Global Challenge and Whitbread Round The World Race), motorsports (CART and MotoGP), action (expeditions and adventure racing), summer (track and field, swimming, and gymnastics) and soon winter sports
Coverage of some of the biggest sporting events, such as the Olympic Games
Quokka Sports’ live event coverage is designed to engage viewers, give them control of the action sequence and let them experience and view sports from a variety of perspectives. Quokka Sports’ coverage of sporting events incorporates a wide range of digital assets, including video, text, audio, images, athlete biometrics, telemetry, environmental data, e-mail, results and timing. Quokka Sports’ content is distributed via the Internet, broadband and emerging digital media networks. Quokka Sports’ unique sports entertainment productions are enabled by Quokka Performance Team members Compaq Computer Corp., Computer Associates International, Inc., and Intel Corp. Quokka Sports has offices in San Francisco; Detroit; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; San Diego; New York; and London.
About WebTV Networks
WebTV Networks, Inc., is a leading provider of enhanced TV services using Internet and digital technologies. WebTV Networks offers a range of enhanced TV services for set-top boxes, satellite products and other TV-related devices. Today, these services include the WebTV Classic service, the WebTV Plus service and the WebTV Personal TV service. WebTV Networks owns and operates a network of TV services and provides enabling software and hardware reference designs to consumer electronics manufacturers.
WebTV Networks, based in Mountain View, Calif., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp. Microsoft incorporates WebTV technologies in the Microsoft TV software platform, which it licenses to television network operators worldwide.
Microsoft, WebTV Network and WebTV are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Quokka and Quokka Sports are registered trademarks, and sports entertainment for the digital world is a trademark of Quokka Sports, Inc.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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