Microsoft WebTV Networks and NBC Create Enhanced TV Community For Saturday Morning tNBC Teen Programming Block

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., LOS ANGELES and NEW YORK, Oct. 11, 2000 — Microsoft WebTV Networks, Inc., and NBC today announced the launch of a new enhanced television community for NBC’s Saturday morning tNBC programming block. This season, tNBC viewers will be able to interact via chat, engage in discussions on message boards, send
to their
“t-mates,” and form clubs around similar interests using the Microsoft® WebTV® Plus service.

Once teens have entered the tNBC enhanced community, they will be able to return to the same interactive environment any time throughout the week while watching any show on NBC.

Interactive features available in the tNBC community include the following:

  • T-mail, which enables viewers to send e-mail and instant messages

  • A t-mates list, which offers easy access to friends

  • Functionality that allows viewers to create a user profile that others can access

  • The capability to form and join clubs of people with similar interests

  • Chat rooms and message boards for each club

  • Behind-the-scenes information and photos of the stars and shows

In addition, viewers will also be able to play a
“watch and win”
word puzzle game where they can answer questions about tNBC story lines and general pop culture. Players who correctly identify the answer to the questions will be eligible to win weekly and monthly prizes of tNBC-related merchandise.

For users who want to delve even deeper into the story lines and personalities that make up the tNBC programming block, the tNBC enhanced community also provides a link to NBC Internet Inc.’s (Nasdaq
) tNBC home page, the online home for tNBC fans.

“tNBC marks a departure from other WebTV/NBC-enhanced broadcasts, which emphasize in-depth content to viewers primarily in the areas of sports and news,”
said Jonathan Boltax, director of the NBC Enhanced Broadcast Group.
“By creating an environment where teens can express themselves and communicate with each other, these enhancements extend the tNBC experience beyond the Saturday morning shows to become an integral component of the viewers’ world.”

“Teens love to be in constant contact with their peers. With our interactive enhancements, they can watch their favorite programming and chat with their friends simultaneously,”
said Joe Poletto, vice president of the Network Media Group at WebTV Networks.
“Young adults can get more information about shows and their stars, join clubs based on mutual interests and utilize instant messaging during the broadcast program. This is a natural for them.”

“We see the tNBC block and our teen audience as an incubator for new media audience applications,”
said Lee Gaither, vice president of NBC Saturday Morning and Family Programs.
“The teen audience is always a clear indicator of where the technology is headed. We’re very excited to be involved with new media partners like WebTV Networks.”

The tNBC programming block runs on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (ET) and includes returning favorites
“City Guys,” “Hang Time”
“One World,”
as well as the new dramedy
“Just Deal.”

The tNBC-enhanced TV community was developed as part of a multiyear relationship between Microsoft WebTV Networks and NBC. Other NBC programming enhanced as a result of this relationship includes sporting events such as Notre Dame football and entertainment programming such as
“Friday Night.”

About NBC

NBC is a global media company with broadly diverse holdings. NBC owns and operates the NBC Television Network as well as 13 television stations. In the United States, NBC owns CNBC, operates MSNBC in partnership with Microsoft, and maintains equity interests in Arts & Entertainment and The History Channel. NBC also has an equity stake in Rainbow Programming Holdings, a leading media company with a wide array of entertainment and sports cable channels, including the Madison Square Garden network and ValueVision International.

NBC is the leader among traditional media companies in Internet and new media business. NBC owns 39.3 percent of NBC Internet Inc. (NBCi), serving as the media company’s exclusive Internet portal, community and broad-based e-commerce service. NBC also holds equity stakes in over 50 new media companies, including CNET, Akamai, Digital Island, Loudeye, i3 Mobile, TiVo, Wink Communications, Gemstar and Intertainer. Also, together with Microsoft and Dow Jones, NBC operates CNBC/Dow Jones Business Video, offering video- and audio-based financial news and information to financial professionals and institutions. Internationally, NBC owns and operates CNBC: A Service of NBC and Dow Jones in partnership with Dow Jones & Company in Europe and Asia. In partnership with National Geographic and Fox/BSkyB, the network owns and operates the National Geographic Channel in Europe and Asia. Members of the media can get more information about NBC and its programming on the NBC Media Village Web site at .

About Microsoft WebTV Networks

Microsoft 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. 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 and consumer electronics manufacturers worldwide.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and WebTV are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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