The New York Television Festival Announces MSN as Its First 2006 Signature Sponsor

NEW YORK — June 7, 2006 — The New York Television Festival (NYTVF) and MSN today announced that MSN will drive online support and awareness as an official signature sponsor for the 2006 NYTVF. The Festival, which will be held Sept. 12–17, 2006, in midtown Manhattan, is the first creative festival of its kind, offering aspiring television artists the opportunity to showcase their original, independently produced TV pilots directly to network executives and industry officials.

MSN is joining the Festival as the official online sponsor and will provide the following:

  • MSN® Video will have exclusive online rights to stream all NYTVF pilots submitted to the Festival’s Independent Pilot Competition at, beginning in July.

  • MSN Video will deliver an Internet webcast of the Festival and on-demand video content of panel discussions and special events featured at the 2006 Festival.

  • MSN Spaces will be the official blogging platform for NYTVF participants for the organization’s Online Community.

The NYTVF will offer pilot-makers, musicians and filmmakers a unique online community dedicated to the production of independent television. The Festival’s alliance with MSN is one component of a larger initiative the NYTVF is launching to unite independent artists from TV, music and film in the NYTVF Online Community. NYTVF will collaborate with MSN integrated services, MSN TV and MSN Spaces to create an invaluable resource to pilot-makers looking to interact or collaborate with other creative people locally and globally, where anyone with an original script can receive all the guidance and support necessary to get an independent pilot off the ground.

“Through the MSN relationship with NYTVF, consumers have the unique opportunity to see new television concepts and pilots in their purest form,” said Rob Bennett, general manager of Entertainment and Video Services for MSN. “This kind of unfettered access to great content is what continues to make MSN the best destination for people who are passionate about entertainment.”

The NYTVF debuted in 2005 as the industry’s first showcase for independent television. In April 2006, the Festival announced the first sale of a program that had premiered in the Independent Pilot Competition to a major cable network. The comedy pilot “Criss-Cross” was purchased by A&E Television Networks and put into development under the working title “I Never Said That.” The Festival followed up this statement by announcing that “The Back Brace,” named Best Animation Pilot at the 2005 NYTVF, had reached a distribution deal with a French film company to be shown in six European countries. Several other pilots that screened at the 2005 NYTVF are still in productive talks with networks and production companies, and the Festival anticipates similar announcements to follow.

“The goal of the NYTVF is to provide independent artists with a platform for getting their work seen by the decision-makers in the TV industry,” said Terence Gray, founder and executive director of NYTVF. “Teamed with MSN, the NYTVF is able to offer its artists an unparalleled degree of access, and the potential exists for artists to have a global outreach with their pilots. Not only can their pilots be seen by millions, but the Festival also ensures that they are being seen by the right people.”

In its inaugural year, the 2005 NYTVF received more than 230 original independent pilots produced by artists from 24 states and seven foreign countries. The 2005 NYTVF was presented in association with TV Guide. The Festival worked in partnership with the William Morris Agency and in conjunction with the mayor’s office of New York City. Official network sponsors included NBC Universal, FOX, Comedy Central, VH1, VH1 Classic, Spike TV, A&E Networks, Rainbow Media, TV Land and Court TV.

The submission period for the 2006 Independent Pilot Competition began Feb. 1 and will end at midnight July 7. There is no fee for students with a valid ID.

Officially selected pilots featured at the 2006 NYTVF will be placed in one of the following five categories: comedy, drama, reality, educational or animation. To be considered for competition, pilots in all categories except animation must have a running time of between 15 and 22 minutes. Animation pilots must have a running time of between two and 20 minutes. Official rules and eligibility requirements can be found at

About the New York Television Festival

The NYTVF was founded in 2005 as the industry’s first recognized platform for independent television. Held annually in the fall in New York City, the birthplace of modern television, the Festival unites artists, executives, industry figures, and fans together in one forum to celebrate the medium and to help shape its future. Along with the Independent Pilot Competition, the Festival features panel discussions, premiere screenings, and other special events designed to honor television as an institution and as an art form. The 2006 NYTVF will be held in Midtown Manhattan from September 12 through September 17.

About MSN and Windows Live

MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. MSN Spaces is the world’s largest blogging platform, with over 130 million users in over 30 markets around the world. Windows Live™, a new set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN Spaces will migrate to the Windows Live family of products in the summer of 2006. MSN and Windows Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at Windows Live is available at MSN is located on the Web at MSN worldwide sites are located at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft, MSN and Windows Live are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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