America Online And Warner Bros. New Media Unveil Interactive Television Version Of Telepictures Productions' “Street Smarts” On AOLTV
(May 1, 2001 - Dulles, VA and Burbank, CA) - Beginning today, consumers using the AOLTV(sm) service, the world's first interactive television service for mass market consumers, will be able to play along with episodes of the show "Street Smarts," a pop-culture comedy game show where contestants try to prove how much they know by predicting how much other people don't know. AOLTV, Warner Bros. New Media and Telepictures Productions -- together with Mixed Signals Technologies -- have developed this interactive application for the nationally syndicated show, that actually allows AOLTV viewers to play along at home as though they were contestants. "Street Smarts" will be the first interactive television series from Warner Bros. and this innovative iTV programming application will, for the first time ever, enable AOLTV members to play a game show while watching it on television. Throughout the months of May and June, viewers of "Street Smarts" will be able to play along with the show right from their television through the AOLTV service. The Philips set-top box running the AOLTV service will enable viewers to test their own "street smarts" and allow them to earn points by correctly guessing how much the "street scholars" on the show actually know. At the end of the game, the at-home players will be able to compare their final scores with the contestants on the show. Robert Friedman, President, AOLTV, said, "Consumers are increasingly interested in using interactive features and services to enhance everyday activities like watching television. Our members have told us that playing interactive games with shows like 'Street Smarts' really would make their TV-viewing experience more enjoyable. Now, AOLTV members can play along with 'Street Smarts' while at home, and really take part in the show. This is a great example of the ways we're providing added value to consumers by leveraging the combined assets and synergies across AOL Time Warner properties to enhance the TV viewing experience. This is just the beginning, and I'm sure it will be the first of many concerted efforts between AOLTV, Telepictures and Warner Bros. to develop compelling interactive programming offerings for AOLTV members." "As more and more interactivity comes to the TV, we are looking at our programming across the board to see how best to integrate that experience into our offerings for our viewers," said Kevin Tsujihara, Executive Vice President, New Media, Warner Bros. "This is an exciting first step, and the simplicity of 'Street Smarts' made it a perfect choice to test the waters in the iTV play along space. We are looking forward to working with AOLTV and Telepictures on similar initiatives in the future." "Interactivity is the next exciting step in the evolution of television programming," said Jim Paratore, President, Telepictures Productions. "'Street Smarts' is a great test case for us because it is a franchise with a young audience that is already tapped in to the latest technology and, therefore, this is a great opportunity for us to begin to learn what our audience wants in terms of interactivity." Mixed Signals Technologies, a leader in the iTV industry that services the television broadcast market, collaborated with Warner Bros., AOLTV and Telepictures on designing the game play and interface for the show and also provided the technology that allows viewers to compete with "Street Smarts" contestants right from their living rooms. "Warner Bros. and Telepictures have embraced the opportunity that iTV represents with new media applications for their programming," said Caroline Beck, Chief Executive Officer and President, Mixed Signals Technologies. "We were eager to support that effort by integrating our technology within their entertainment programming." AOLTV enhances the TV-watching experience with interactivity by allowing consumers to take advantage of familiar AOL features like e-mail, instant messaging and chat while they watch their favorite shows; to find, watch and record programs more conveniently with an easy-to-use Program Guide; and to take advantage of exciting new online features and content designed to accompany popular TV programming. The Philips set-top box with AOLTV service is now available at Circuit City and Sears stores nationwide. For more information, AOL members can visit Keyword: AOLTV. Other consumers can go to the AOLTV Web site, at: www.aoltv.com. About America Online, Inc. America Online, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Time Warner, Inc. Based in Dulles, Virginia, America Online is the world's leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies and e-commerce services. About Warner Brothers New Media Warner Bros. New Media oversees the migration and convergence of traditional media with new media, and is the driving force behind Warner Bros.' activities in the entire new media space, including the Internet, interactive television and wireless. The strategic focus is on creating content especially designed for the new media, optimizing the use of Warner Bros.' brands and talent, and serving as the access point for new business opportunities and distribution platforms.
# # #