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ABC to Offer Enhanced TV for Upcoming Bowl Championship

ABC Sports and its enhanced TV division, along with Ford Motors and Wink Communications are teaming up to produce iTV programming for the 2003 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) for viewers with an Internet-connected computer at ESPN.com or TV's with Wink service.

Disney's ETV will use OpenTV's enhanced TV service, Wink, to provide single-screen interactive elements during each game telecast, including a real-time statistics application.

ETV's PC-based iTV application includes the Prime Time Player game, which allows users to predict the outcome of each play as they happen and earn points for correct choices. It also features Live Stats, a real-time interactive database of game, player and team statistics, Push Channel, which displays graphics, statistics and trivia, Instant Polling and Live Comments, which lets users voice their opinions through the game. Fans accumulate points based on performance and top scorers are eligible for prizes, namely an all-expenses paid trip to the 2004 National Championship game.

Wink provides a system for sending interactive applications along with broadcast video to viewers' TV's. ABC Sports' broadcast of the BCS is their first Wink-enhanced program, letting viewers use their set-top box remote control to scroll through the material.

"Sports programming," says OpenTV CEO James Ackerman, "has been one of the most successful avenues for introducing interactivity and we believe that bowl game viewers will enjoy the interactive enhancements..."

Ford sponsors enhanced TV for the Rose Bowl, Nokia Sugar Bowl, FedEx Orange Bowl and the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.