News | May 21, 2001

NBC launches :CueTV to connect PC, TV

NBC becomes first network to debut :CueTV - launches multimillion dollar prime-time promotion and sweepstakes.

NBC and Digital:Convergence Corporation jointly announced today the launch of :CueTV, a free technology that, for the first time, enables consumers to easily link the television and the computer. NBC, the network known for setting industry standards in technology and programming, and Dallas-based Digital:Convergence, the leading provider of precision Internet navigation services, are debuting the :CueTV technology as part of a new NBC promotion offering viewers the chance to win more than $400,000 in prizes from June 13 to July 11.

CueTV is a new technology that actually allows a television to become a remote control for a computer. It works by sending a signal, via an audio tone ("cue") embedded in television programming, to a PC -- which in turn launches a Web page related to what is being watched. The free :CueTV kit, which contains a special cable and software, is being distributed exclusively at more than 7,000 RadioShack retail locations starting May 24. No set-top box or fee of any kind is required.

"Until now, watching television and using a computer have been disconnected experiences," said John Miller, President of The NBC Agency. "With :CueTV, we can build a bridge between these two powerful media, and at the same time reward loyal NBC viewers."

The cues, which consist of the Digital:Convergence ":c" icon in the corner of the screen accompanied by an audio tone, will first appear on NBC beginning May 24, during a series of on-air spots promoting NBCIQ, a Web-based trivia sweepstakes that will test consumers' knowledge of NBC programs. The sweepstakes, which begins on June 13, will use cues during morning, afternoon and prime time promotional spots to direct viewers' computers to a Web page featuring the NBCIQ trivia contest. Users do not need to be connected to the Internet when the audio cue appears. To play NBCIQ a user's computer has to be on but not online. Cues are then stored like email, which can be clicked later to launch the page online.

NBCIQ is just the beginning of NBC's plan to utilize :CueTV throughout the network. Later this summer, NBC will use the technology to enhance the viewing experience of some of its programs. For example, while watching a news program, viewers' Web browsers would automatically launch pages with further information about that particular news segment within the program.

"Our technology marries the TV and PC in a way that allows viewers to experience the best of what both devices have to offer," said Scott Carlin, Digital:Convergence Media Group President and a 19-year veteran of Warner Bros. "NBC is the ideal partner to illustrate the scope and power :CueTV."

The NBCIQ sweepstakes questions will cover a range of NBC-related trivia and will be a mixture of time-sensitive and basic test-your-knowledge questions. Participants in the NBCIQ sweepstakes will have the chance to win more than $400,000 in prizes including four General Motors vehicles, thousands of prizes featuring Compaq computers, RCA TVs, and DVD players, thousands of magazine subscriptions and five grand prizes of one million American Airline miles each. Six instant prizes will be offered in each of the three broadcast zones, for each of the 28 days of the contest. NBCIQ is being produced and hosted by GoldPocket Interactive, and Promosis Inc. is administering the sweepstakes.

About Digital:Convergence

Digital:Convergence Corporation (www.digitalconvergence.com), the leader and pioneer in precision Internet navigation services, is headquartered in Dallas with offices in New York and London. Together with its industry-leading partners, NBC, Belo, Young & Rubicam Inc., E.W. Scripps Company, and RadioShack Corporation, the company provides the only Web navigation solution linking any media or product instantly and precisely to specific, relevant Internet content. Its patented, award-winning :CRQ software safeguards user privacy and is free to consumers. The company's management team includes a roster of industry veterans from Time Warner, AT&T, GE, ING Barings and Disney.

About NBC

The nation's first broadcast network, NBC has evolved into a diverse, international media company. In addition to the NBC Television Network and 13 television stations, the company owns CNBC, operates MSNBC in partnership with Microsoft, and maintains equity interest in Arts & Entertainment, the History Channel and Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. NBC owns equity stakes in several new media companies in addition to NBCi. International holdings include CNBC Europe and CNBC Asia, which are services of NBC and Dow Jones, and an equity position in National Geographic Channels International.

NBC has created over 200 innovative partnerships with the world's leading marketers, including McDonald's, Sprint, Blockbuster, Nintendo, Colgate-Palmolive, Kodak and Kellogg's. Leveraging the unparalleled brand strength of NBC entertainment, sports and news programming, NBC develops national and local promotions, publishing ventures, interactive products, live events and program and daypart tie-ins that drive consumer interest, and product sales. NBC offers advertising and promotional partners the reach and buying power of the largest and most powerful audience in network television, and the industry's most effective consumer marketing and promotion campaigns.

Source: Digital Convergence


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