CBS Television and WebTV Networks to Deliver Interactive Telecasts of College Football Games

NEW YORK and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Nov. 16, 2000 — CBS Television, a unit of Viacom Inc. (NYSE
“VIA,” “VIA.B” ), and WebTV Networks, Inc., today announced they will deliver an interactive version of CBS’s televised programming of select remaining college football games this season to subscribers of the Microsoft® WebTV® Plus or UltimateTV® services.

The announcement follows an agreement earlier this year between CBS and Microsoft Corp., which calls for a broad slate of interactive television programming including a variety of CBS entertainment and sports programming. CBS anticipates delivering approximately 500 hours of interactive television programming during the 2000-01 season. The service will be promoted on WebTV Networks.

The first college football game to feature interactive content from WebTV Networks will be Auburn at Alabama, to air on CBS on Saturday, Nov. 18. Sports television fans will be able to interact with the game through access to a variety of on-demand features, including statistics, full bios of all players searchable alphabetically or by team number, in-depth background material on the teams, a
“virtual coach”
that gives viewers the chance to predict plays, live polling, game-related sports trivia questions and sports definitions — all via remote control.

“Interactive college football programming represents CBS’s first opportunity to provide our viewers with this exciting new television experience,”
said David Katz, vice president of Strategic Planning and Interactive Ventures for CBS Television.
“With some of the best programming in the business at CBS, we are poised to continue developing the industry’s most compelling interactive television product.”

“We are working directly with the network broadcast executives, who understand what television viewers really want,”
said Joe Poletto, vice president of the Network Media Group for WebTV Networks at Microsoft.
“Together with CBS we are bringing the most advanced and appealing interactive television capabilities to America’s sports fans. The excitement of college football presents the ideal showcase to do this.”

In addition to interactive television capabilities, the WebTV Plus interactive service offers Internet access through a set-top box that works with any television or through the EchoStar DISHPlayer 500. Microsoft UltimateTV service for DIRECTV satellite subscribers enables viewers to create their own
“personal television”
and delivers interactive programming and Internet access via a set-top box manufactured by THOMSON multimedia Inc. and Sony Electronics Inc.

About CBS Television

CBS Television comprises the CBS Television Network, with more than 200 owned and affiliated stations reaching virtually every television home in the United States; the network’s programming arms CBS Entertainment, CBS News and CBS Sports; and CBS Enterprises, a global leader in distribution.

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 Internet service, the WebTV Plus interactive service and 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.

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, WebTV and UltimateTV 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.

Related Posts