DISH Network Teams With NBC Universal on Record Number of Viewers for Enhanced Interactive Coverage Of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
NBC's Enhanced Olympic Games Features Developed by Ensequence and Available Via DISH Network Reach Historic Levels
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. and NEW YORK, Sept 25, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- DISH Network Corporation (Nasdaq: DISH), the nation's third largest pay-TV provider and the digital transition leader, today announced that NBC Universal's coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games were watched by more than 41 percent of DISH Network subscribers through its interactive television (iTV) services. DISH Network partnered with NBCU and Ensequence, the interactive TV company, to develop and host a variety of NBC Olympics interactive programming and advertisements tied to NBCU's coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
"Our data shows that DISH Network subscribers are embracing our interactive applications in growing numbers, finding new ways to follow and enjoy their favorite programming, including NBCU's coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games," said Michael Kelly, executive vice president for DISH Network. "Results from the interactive features surrounding the Olympic Games on the networks of NBCU show that 41 percent of our subscriber base utilized the service, demonstrating that iTV is a powerful tool for programmers and advertisers alike to reach out to a target audience and collect data on viewing trends."
"The enormous success of the NBC Olympics iTV applications on the DISH Network platform is a testament to both the foresight of DISH Network to offer its customers an immersive one-screen experience and to the vast opportunities provided to the Olympic fan and the Olympic advertiser through the multi- dimensional partnership with NBC Universal," said Gary Zenkel, President, NBC Olympics.
NBC Universal's Beijing Olympic coverage was viewed by more Americans than any event in U.S. television history, according to data provided by Nielsen Media Research. NBCU's coverage reached 214 million total viewers, shattering the previous mark set by the 1996 Atlanta Olympics (209M) by five million viewers and surpassing the 2004 Athens Games (203M) by 11 million viewers. The Beijing Games averaged 27.7 million viewers and scored a 17-day rating of 16.2/28 to post significant gains over the 2004 Athens Games.
DISH Network's iTV service, located on DISH Network Ch. 100, features DishHOME, a six channel mosaic on one screen along with interactive advertisements (iAds) and more than 25 interactive applications. During NBCU's coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the DishHOME Mosaic aired on six NBCU channels at the same time: CNBC, MSNBC, Oxygen, USA Network and two Olympic highlight channels. DISH Network's iTV mosaic had more than 40 million views and averaged more than 1.5 million visitors per day during NBCU's 2008 Beijing Olympic Games coverage, including more than 200 million minutes of content viewed interactively.
Ensequence, working with NBCU, built the "NBC Olympics Showcase," a separate interactive TV experience, which highlighted a variety of NBC Olympics' content on the 2008 Beijing Games. NBC Olympics Showcase was located on DishHOME and accessible within programming on CNBC, MSNBC, USA Network and Oxygen. NBCU and DISH Network inserted interactive triggers embedded within the CNBC, MSNBC and USA Network broadcasts, driving them to the interactive application. DISH Network subscribers were able to access top stories, athlete profiles, daily video highlights, country medal counts, featured sponsors' information, Olympic TV listings, a Team USA report, and Beijing event venues with a single press of their remote control.
"Viewers are ready for interactive television and the results we've seen from NBCU's 2008 Summer Olympics interactive TV experience have been nothing less than phenomenal, if not record breaking," said Peter Low, Ensequence President and COO. "With interactive TV, our customers NBCU and DISH Network are enhancing their programming and advertising in powerful and effective ways, engaging viewers in a two-way dialogue, and increasing their advertising revenue-while also enjoying the same level of in-depth metrics and reporting they've come to expect from the web."
DISH Network offers the most comprehensive iTV service in the U.S., with more than 13 million iTV enabled set-top boxes and an interactive menu that includes a variety of virtual and enhanced channels.