AOL and PBS Enter Strategic Online, On-Air Alliance
-- Further Extends Leading Online and Network Brands to Mass Audiences --
-- Popular PBS Online Programming Now Available Across AOL Brands --
DULLES, VA and PASADENA, CA, January 8, 2000 - America Online (AOL), the world's leading interactive services company, and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), a leader in the convergence of television, video and Web content, today announced a 3-year strategic alliance that will further extend the companies' leading online and television network brands to diverse, mass market audiences. The announcement was made at the Television Critics Association Press Tour.
Under the agreement, PBS will become a premier content partner across several AOL brands, including AOL, AOL.COM, CompuServe, and Shop@AOL, as well as Netscape Netcenter. To encourage greater viewership of PBS stations, many of PBS' most popular programs will receive integrated promotion across the AOL brands. This promotion will provide AOL and CompuServe's more than 22 million members and the millions of visitors to AOL's Web brands with direct access to PBS' educational, informational and interactive online programming. PBS will also create an innovative, age-appropriate content feature exclusively for the AOL Kids Only Channel. The new "Kratt's Creature Adventure," featuring Chris and Martin Kratt of the hit program ZOBOOMAFOO, will launch on AOL in the coming months.
AOL will receive on-air branding on many of the best-known programs broadcast by PBS' 346 member stations, which reach 99 percent of American homes with televisions and serve nearly 100 million people each week. Co-branded Web pages and AOL Keywords, the popular online "addresses" directing AOL members to sites on AOL, will be created to directly link those members to PBS' collection of award-winning sites. The AOL Keywords will be cited at the end of many of PBS' top programs and in much of PBS' print advertising promoting these programs.
"We are pleased to be associated with PBS' brand and high-quality programming and to offer its comprehensive selection of content -- from science and technology to news and the arts -- to visitors to the AOL family of brands," said Marshall Cohen, AOL's senior vice president of Brand Development. "This opportunity significantly builds the ubiquity of the AOL brand and enables us to showcase an enhanced and interactive TV viewing experience to more consumers."
"This collaboration with AOL will bring many more visitors to PBS Online and many more viewers to PBS stations," said John Hollar, executive vice president, PBS Learning Ventures. "This alliance with the industry leader, AOL, advances the efforts of PBS stations and their Web sites to become major cross-platform content resources on television and in cyberspace."
About America Online, Inc.
Founded in 1985, America Online, Inc., based in Dulles, Virginia, is the world's leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies, and e-commerce services. America Online, Inc. operates: two worldwide Internet services, America Online, with more than 20 million members, and CompuServe, with approximately 2 million members; several leading Internet brands including ICQ, AOL Instant Messenger and Digital City, Inc.; the Netscape Netcenter and AOL.COM portals; the Netscape Navigator and Communicator browsers; AOL MovieFone, the nation's # 1 movie listing guide and ticketing service; and Spinner Networks and NullSoft, Inc., leaders in Internet music and Digital Marketing Services (DMS) the leader in online incentive marketing programs and online custom market research. Through its strategic alliance with Sun Microsystems, the company develops and offers easy-to-deploy, end-to-end e-commerce and enterprise solutions for companies operating in the Net Economy.
About the Public Broadcasting Service
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Va., is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 346 public television stations. A trusted community resource, PBS uses the power of noncommercial television, the Internet and other media to enrich the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services that inform, inspire and delight. Available to 99 percent of American homes with televisions and to an increasing number of digital multimedia households, PBS serves nearly 100 million people each week. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org. PBS Online, PBS' award-winning site on the World Wide Web, produces high-quality Web programming as it pioneers the convergence of television and the Internet. PBS Online features more than 85,000 pages of content, as well as companion Web sites for more than 400 PBS programs and specials. PBS ONLINE has won the prestigious Webby Award for best TV Web site in 1998 and 1999.
- PBS -