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ESPN, Disney, Dish Launch Interactive Channels

EchoStar is teaming with content from Disney and ESPN for two new interactive television (iTV) applications—ESPN Interactive Zone and Disney Channel Interactive TV. The applications will be available to more than 12 million Dish subscribers who receive interactive television service.

The ESPN Interactive Zone offers sports fans a "dashboard" featuring up to the minute news, scores, standings, and rankings for major professional and college sports. Fans can launch the ESPN Interactive Zone by clicking on an on-screen button that is available during selected programs on ESPN channels, or from DishHome Channel 100. Once inside, fans can easily tune in to all ESPN channels available on Dish Network, and check out TV schedule listings for the ESPN channels.

"Teaming with Dish on these new interactive television services marks a whole new world of opportunity for both consumers and advertisers," said David Preschlack, executive vice president for affiliate sales and marketing of Disney and ESPN Media Networks. "In addition to enhancing the traditional television viewing experience, applications such as the ESPN Interactive Zone give advertisers a more robust vehicle for reaching audiences with intensive, targeted interactive ad campaigns than ever before."

Disney Channel's interactive application enables Dish subscribers to set digital video recorder timers for featured Disney Channel programs, obtain Disney Channel show information from the ticker on the main menu and interact with show-related content. After accessing the application through DishHome Channel 100, users will also be able to preview and play basic levels of dozens of exclusive, character-based, arcade-style games featuring some of Disney Channel's most popular programming.

The additions bring Dish's interactive TV suite to more than 40 virtual and enhanced offerings."