PBS & Twin Entertainment Sign Deal To Create Educational Interactive TV Games
Los Angeles, November, 17, 2000 - The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and enhanced interactive TV company TWIN Entertainment, Inc. have agreed to produce educational, fully interactive TV games based upon PBS KIDS® programs and designed to run across leading interactive TV platforms such as Liberate, OpenTV, and MicrosoftTV. The announcement was made today by Cindy Johanson, senior vice president of PBS Interactive, and Robert J. Regan, TWIN Entertainment president and chief operating officer.
ZOOM, the daily kid-powered television series that challenges young people to "turn off the TV and do it" will be the initial PBS KIDS program adapted under the agreement into an interactive TV, on-demand trivia quiz-game called ZOOMnoodle. Produced by WGBH Boston and targeted at children ages 8-10, ZOOMnoodle will build on the strengths and popularity of the television show.
ZOOMnoodle, a component of PBS' "walled garden" offerings to cable and satellite providers, will complement TWIN Entertainment's content line-up. (A "walled garden" is an enclosed Web-like environment formatted for television viewing.) ZOOMnoodle will engage kids with word games, riddles, fill-in-the-blanks, and more. Powered by TWIN Entertainment's powerful, interactive TV platforms, the game will test knowledge, provide feedback, elaborate on facts, and encourage players to succeed -- within timed rounds. Each episode of ZOOMnoodle will draw upon the ZOOM curriculum, developed by leading educators and advisors to engage kids with different themes such as weather, music or books.
Initially available to cable operators powered by the Liberate platform, ZOOMnoodle will be offered to viewers as a free game. PBS and TWIN Entertainment will also work together to create a program synchronous game based on Advanced Television Enhancement Forum (ATVEF) standards.
Cindy Johanson said, "PBS and WGBH Interactive are delighted at the prospect of working with TWIN Entertainment to originate a fully interactive TV version of ZOOM, given the success and popularity of the show both on television as well as online at pbskids.org/zoom/. TWIN Entertainment offers a robust suite of interactive game development tools and applications, and we applaud its understanding of the value of educational interactive television, particularly for children."
Ron LaRussa, WGBH director of Strategic Planning and Special Projects, added, "We're excited about extending ZOOM, one of the most celebrated children's program brands, onto this dynamic new platform."
Robert J. Regan said, "Our involvement with PBS shows how we're positioning ourselves as the number one provider of enhanced interactive game content in the market. ZOOMnoodle will provide fun, quality, interactive kids entertainment, uniquely different in concept and educational in tone. Under this agreement and during our ongoing working relationship with PBS, we plan to develop synchronous enhanced TV and interactive programming for further PBS brands and original programming."
Alex Davidson, TWIN Entertainment's chief technology officer, said, "This deal is a great opportunity for TWIN Entertainment to demonstrate its technical proficiency. PBS will be in a position to take advantage of tried and tested technology already on-air in the UK, plus have access to a series of Îeasy to use' tools, enabling revision and refreshment of individual episodic program content. TWIN Entertainment enjoys a rich portfolio of interactive game frameworks, which can be quickly re-purposed for individual cable and satellite providers. Through our partnerships with Liberate, OpenTV, and MicrosoftTV, content can be delivered across multiple platforms".
About PBS - PBS.org
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 347 public television stations. Serving nearly 100 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at PBS.org.
About WGBH - www.wgbh.org
WGBH Boston is America's preeminent public broadcasting producer. More than one-third of PBS's prime-time lineup and companion Web content as well as many public radio favorites are produced by WGBH. Its best-known productions include NOVA, Frontline, American Experience, Antiques Roadshow, ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre, This Old House, Arthur, and Zoom on PBS and The World, Sound & Spirit, and Says You! on public radio. WGBH also is a pioneer in educational multimedia and in access technologies for people with disabilities. Since its establishment in 1951, WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors, including Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards as well as two Oscars. For more information visit www.wgbh.org.
About TWIN Entertainment - www.twinentertainment.com
TWIN Entertainment is an enhanced interactive TV channel featuring both scheduled and on demand games where up to four players in a household can compete against one another or the wider community for fun and prizes. TWIN Entertainment is also a provider of interactive technology and in time, viewers will be able to take part in play as you watch enhanced TV games synchronized with broadcast TV. Available on all cable and satellite platforms, TWIN Entertainment is a joint venture between two world leaders in pioneering interactive television - Interactive Network in the United States, and Two Way TV in the UK. TWIN Entertainment will exploit Interactive Network's significant patent portfolio and Two Way TV's leading edge content, production systems, operating platform and patents for digital interactive services. Based in Los Angeles and San Francisco, TWIN Entertainment is dedicating its resources to developing multi-player interactive TV applications; enhanced TV games played in conjunction with live and scheduled television broadcasts and on demand entertainment content for an interactive audience.
To view information on either Two Way TV or Interactive Network (OTCBB:INNN), please visit their respective websites at:
- PBS -
TWIN Entertainment Inc.
Neil Dickens, +1 323 463 2882