THE TV GUIDE ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK PARTNERS WITH
Strategic Partnership Brings Customized TV-Oriented Content to the
WebTV Network Online Service, Fosters Further Convergence of TV and the
Web New York, N.Y. January 13, 1997 - The TV Guide Entertainment Network
(TVGEN), the Web's leading source for entertainment information, today
announced a strategic partnership with WebTV Networks Inc., developer of
the WebTV set-top box and WebTV Network service that delivers the Internet
The agreement, a major development in the convergence of television
and the Internet, will make comprehensive, Internet-based information about
television programming available through the television set itself. Under
the terms of the agreement, TVGEN will provide content from its recently
launched Web site, such as its customized regional programming grid, for
WebTV Network subscribers.
"People want to interact with entertainment sources in new and
different ways, always looking for a deeper experience," said Steve
Perlman, co-founder, president and CEO of WebTV Networks Inc. TVGEN's interactive
content is ideal for viewing on WebTV, and the TV Guide brand name has
incredible resonance with the television audience."
"Users can identify what they want to watch through the TVGEN listings
on WebTV and switch back to the actual program -- never leaving their couch,"
said Jeff Leist, chief operating officer of TVGEN. "The TVGEN icon
will be prominently displayed on the WebTV home page, allowing WebTV subscribers
to easily access TVGEN's content as part of a total entertainment and learning
"Users can access Web-based chat rooms, audio snippets and magazine
columns related to their favorite shows as soon as the closing credits
roll, or even at the same time with a picture-in-picture-equipped television,"
"We are looking forward to a long-term alliance between TVGEN and
WebTV," said James Murdoch, vice president of music and new media
for TVGEN. "Our goal is to provide the most comprehensive, compelling
information combined with unmatched utility that will keep audiences coming
back and staying longer. We think it's wonderful that, thanks to WebTV,
this compelling and useful information about television will be available
on the television set itself. The alliance is one more step toward our
goal of being platform-agnostic - available to all audiences, on all platforms,
at all times."
As part of the long-term agreement between the companies, TVGEN is taking
advantage of cutting-edge technologies currently in development at WebTV.
Networks to optimize TVGEN content on the WebTV Network service. Enhancements
currently in development include support for more- sophisticated audio
integration and additional regional specifications for the listing grids.
The TV Guide Entertainment Network is the Internet's premier entertainment
source for TV, movies, music and sports information. Wholly owned by News
Corporation, TVGEN contains up-to-the-minute entertainment listings, customized
viewing schedules based on user preference, interactive features and games,
current local TV programming, and daily updated original content, and has
nearly 10 million page views a month.
Founded in 1995 by Steve Perlman, Bruce Leak and Phil Goldman, WebTV
Networks is dedicated to bringing high-quality, affordable Internet access
to television consumers through integrated, easy-to-use, standards-based
technologies and services. WebTV Networks is based in Palo Alto, Calif.
NOTE TO EDITORS: If you are interested in receiving additional information
on WebTV Networks, please visit their Web site at http://webtv.net