[08/14/06 - 12:00 AM]
DirecTV, USA Network and Usta Serve Up the First-Ever Interactive TV Coverage of 2006 Us Open

[via press release from USA]

DIRECTV, USA Network and USTA Serve Up the First-Ever Interactive TV coverage of 2006 US Open

DIRECTV, USA Network and USTA Serve Up the First-Ever Interactive TV coverage of 2006 US Open

DIRECTV Customers Continue to Get Red Carpet Treatment; Can Watch Up To Five US Open Matches at Any Time and More Than 100 Live Matches Overall

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., and NEW YORK, Aug. 14, 2006 - DIRECTV, USA Network and the USTA are providing tennis fans with the first-ever interactive TV coverage of a major U.S. tennis event through a new service, US Open Interactive on USA only on DIRECTV.

Free to DIRECTV customers, the interactive service will expand USA Network's national coverage of the 2006 US Open, including unprecedented access to more early round matches, statistics and information on demand, and the ability to view up to five matches simultaneously on a special US Open Mix channel. In all, DIRECTV customers will have access to up to 300 hours of tournament coverage that includes more than 100 additional matches.

Employing its industry-leading interactive technology, DIRECTV will utilize USA Network's production resources at US Open tennis courts normally used for cutaways from matches featured during USA Network's national coverage. Viewers will be able to select from any one of several live matches - taking their US Open viewing experience to a new level.

"This is the biggest advance for tennis fans since color television," said Eric Shanks, executive vice president, DIRECTV Entertainment. "We're extremely pleased to team with USA Network to bring this innovation to our customers absolutely free of charge."

"We're excited by the notion of combining USA Network's national coverage of the US Open with DIRECTV's interactive television innovations to create the ultimate US Open experience for viewers," said Bridget Baker, executive vice president, NBC Universal Cable. "Each year, dramatic storylines unfold during early round matches from many places at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, so it makes perfect sense to provide tennis fans access to as much of this drama as possible, as it occurs."

With the US Open Interactive service, customers will have the ability to enjoy five channels of expanded coverage starting at 11 a.m. ET and covering all the day's action on the featured courts during the US Open's first five days. In addition, a special US Open Mix channel will feature all of these matches plus USA's own coverage simultaneously, with live onscreen scoring of all the matches. Viewers with interactive equipment will be able to highlight each cell to hear live audio specific to the cell's featured match, and can tune to any match full screen at the push of a button.

In addition to the expanded coverage and the US Open Mix Channel, viewers will have access to a half-screen Scoreboard overlay on both the US Open Mix and the extra Court Channels. The Scoreboard will feature the previous day and current day's match results, as well as the next day's upcoming match ups.

About DIRECTV, Inc.

DIRECTV, Inc. is the nation's leading digital television service provider with more than 15.5 million customers. DIRECTV and the Cyclone Design logo are registered trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc. DIRECTV (NYSE:DTV) is a world-leading provider of digital multichannel television entertainment. DIRECTV is approximately 39 percent owned by News Corporation.

About USA Network

Seen in 90 million homes, USA Network is cable television's leading network of original series and feature movies, sports and entertainment events, network shows and blockbuster theatrical films. The USA Network Web site is located at www.usanetwork.com. Characters Welcome.

USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.

  [august 2006]  

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