Liberate Strikes Sport, Telco Deals

Liberate Technologies Inc. will enhance ESPN sports coverage with interactive features, the middleware company announced.

The companies did not reveal the date when ESPN viewers will be able to take part in the action, but they did reveal what some of their initial enhanced offerings may be.

ESPN Today Plus Video-on-demand, a virtual channel with interactive information and commercials, will give fans data feeds plus links to advertising options. It will also allow fans to tailor the content they receive.

"Synchronous programming" will enable viewers to receive statistics on their screens and provide an interactive news ticker.

ESPN Extra will provide round-the-clock real-time sports information and updates along with enhanced advertising.

In a separate deal, Liberate also announces a partnership with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. To provide a set-top box that supports MPEG-over-IP delivery of interactive content for DSL-based telco networks. Based on Liberate TV Navigator 4.0 software, Samsung plans to offer the new set-top box, the SMT-F240, to DSL networks by the end of 2002.

The set-top displayed at BroadcastAsia 2002 in Singapore uses a Linux operating system and supports MPEG-2, but can be upgraded to MPEG-4, the companies said.