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WorldGate, SeaChange Cooperate to Offer Internet TV Advertising

WorldGate Communications and SeaChange International Inc. said they have partnered to allow television advertisers to link their locally targeted commercials directly to related Web sites using WorldGate's Channel HyperLinking technology.

Channel HyperLinking is WorldGate's ability to link broadcast or cable television programming and advertising with related Web sites using cable television's broadband infrastructure. The two companies said they will also cooperate to develop a navigation interface for video on demand (VOD) systems.

The partnership allows WorldGate's Channel HyperLinking technology to be added as an extension to SeaChange's installed base of digital ad insertion systems, which currently serve more than 14,000 channels worldwide.

The move will provide a platform for advertisers to offer television viewers the ability to Channel HyperLink from 30-second advertisements to sponsors' long or short form infomercials for access to additional information.

"The building blocks for the national Channel HyperLinking infrastructure are now in place," said Hal Krisbergh, chairman and CEO, WorldGate Communications. "In addition to programmer relationships and Nielsen Media's agreement to measure the Internet/TV audience, thanks to SeaChange, we now have the ability to offer local advertisers the power of the Web linked to television . . ."

"Channel HyperLinking to advertisers' Web content or product videos brings a powerful new dimension to cable TV advertising by offering in-depth information on a product or service of interest," said Ed McGrath, vice president of engineering, SeaChange International. "And we're very pleased that for the first time local advertisers will be able to use this new level of interactivity to communicate their messages on a more individual and personal level."

WorldGate Communications is dedicated to providing cable subscribers with a fast, easy, inexpensive Internet/television experience using only a cable converter box and a television set.

SeaChange of Maynard, MA is a provider of MPEG-2 digital video systems for television operators and telecommunications companies.

Separately, WorldGate said that more than 30 new television networks will become WorldGate affiliates, implementing the Channel HyperLinking open platform.

In December 1997, WorldGate announced its charter group of 31 network partners.

The combined group includes: The Weather Channel, A&E Network, The History Channel, CNN, Court TV, E! Entertainment Television, Encore, Lifetime Television, Fox News, Fox Sports, Showtime, USA Networks, INSP-The Inspirational Network, MUSIC CHOICE, HBO and Cinemax, Home & Garden Television, The Rainbow Media Group including Bravo, Independent Film Channel, World Cinema, American Movie Classics, Romance Classics, C-SPAN, C-SPAN 2, Game Show Network, STARZ!, STARZ2, BET Movies/STARZ3, MOVIEPlex, Love Stories, Westerns, Mystery, Action, True Stories and WAM! America's Kidz Network.