CHICAGO, June 10, 2003 — Today at The National Show, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s (NCTA’s) annual convention, Microsoft Corp. and ESPN announced that ESPN, Inc., is supporting the new Microsoft®
TV Foundation Edition digital TV software platform. The first product currently employing this technology, ESPN Today, is being demonstrated at The National Show in the Microsoft TV Booth 931.
Cable operators deploying Microsoft TV Foundation will be able to deliver ESPN Today and other services developed by ESPN for the software platform. Launched in 2001 and customized for affiliates, ESPN Today is a virtual channel that provides sports fans on-demand access to video and a variety of information including select ESPN programming, game highlights, scores, stats and standings.
“Microsoft TV believes that services such as ESPN Today are key to helping cable operators deliver compelling on-demand content that proves the value of digital cable to viewers,” said Moshe Lichtman, corporate vice president of the Microsoft TV Division at Microsoft. “Now, cable operators who deploy Microsoft TV Foundation not only get a digital TV platform that helps them better merchandize on-demand services, they have the option to offer interactive content from ESPN, a leader in sports programming and developing innovative content for digital TV.”
“ESPN is continuing to lead the way in innovative ways to serve the sports fan. With this effort, the best in sports programming will be available to cable operators for Microsoft TV Foundation,” said Manish Jha, senior vice president and general manager of Emerging Media and Data Services at ESPN. “ESPN Today is just the first of many products cable operators can expect to deliver to subscribers through Microsoft TV Foundation. Content from the worldwide leader in sports using tools from the global leader in software will drive more demand for digital and on-demand television.”
ESPN.com is the exclusive sports content provider for the MSN®
sports channel, following an agreement announced in September 2001. ESPN, Inc., The Worldwide Leader in Sports, is the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia sports assets with over 40 business entities. The company is comprised of seven domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes (launching the end of 2003), ESPN Now, ESPN Today), ESPN HD (a high-definition simulcast service of ESPN), ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (25 international networks and syndication), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, SportsTicker, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including ESPN Broadband, ESPN Wireless, ESPN Video-on-Demand and ESPN Interactive. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc, which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.
About the Microsoft TV Platform
Microsoft TV is a family of standards-based client and server software products and related developer tools that help network operators create digital TV services which delight subscribers and derive more value from digital TV investments. Microsoft TV enables the delivery of new services such as video on demand, On-Demand Storefronts, interactive program guides, managed content services, digital video recording, enhanced programming, e-mail, instant messaging and more across a full range of set-top boxes and TV devices. More information about Microsoft TV can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/tv/.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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.
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