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Excite: Netscape Deal Already Paying Off

Excite Inc. said today that it signed agreements worth $21 million in advertising revenues in relation to its recently announced two-year partnership with Netscape Communications Corp.

On May 4, Excite entered into a $70 million agreement with Netscape under which it agreed to provide the software company with its search services and be featured in the Netcenter portal site as a "Premier" partner, along with five other search engine entities.

The deal called for Netscape and Excite to both receive 25% of the search rotations, and Excite said at the time that it expected to gain about 10 million page views a day from the arrangement.

Excite revealed in a statement today that the partnership is already bearing fruit as the company is experiencing increased demand for its Netscape advertising inventory. The company said its new agreements reflect high advertiser demand for keyword, directory, channel and sponsorship opportunities.

As a key player in the Netscape NetSearch launch, Excite said it will be responsible for programming and selling 50% of the advertising during the first year for the NetSearch traffic.

The navigation guide added that more saleable inventory will be made available this month as new Excite channels on Netscape make their debuts. In addition, Excite said it has added new members to its sales force to handle the anticipated advertiser demand.

"On this the first day of our new search agreement, and with two years of selling still in front of us, we've signed agreements for 30% of the initial $70 million committed to secure our highly prized Netscape relationship," said George Bell, President and CEO of Excite, Inc.

"Prior to signing the agreement with Netscape, we perceived that its considerable inventory had been under-leveraged in the past, and our early sales numbers offer powerful validation of this fact and of the future opportunity."

Wall Street appeared to react favorably to the Excite news in mid-afternoon trading; XCIT was up 4 11/16 trading at 56 1/16 at 2:46PM EST.



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