New York -- ABC and ESPN will combine Monday night (Jan. 4)
to bring enhanced television to personal computer users watching its Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
game for the college football championship.
ABC will use the Web sites of ESPN, ABC and ABC News rather
than an interactive TV platform such as WebTV because of the larger audience for PCs in
"We tested WebTV and PCs for Monday Night Football,"
said an ESPN spokesman, adding the company would re-examine WebTV and similar technology,
such as Wink Communications and WorldGate Communications Inc., down the road.
ABC is developing the technology in-house through Starwave,
the online unit that's part of Infoseek. That company is 43 percent owned by
ABC's parent, The Walt Disney Co.
Viewers watching the Jan. 4 Fiesta Bowl game between UCLA
and Florida State will be able to access information about it and the players that ABC
Sports and ESPN are producing especially for Web surfers. Producers will synchronize what
is happening on the TV screen with the PC, making information available for viewers online
that is relevant to what's happening in the game.
Among the features: Prime Time Player, in which viewers get
points for predicting the next play; statistical and biographical information on each
player; game information graphics; and a steady sports ticker along the bottom of the PC