RealTime IT News

Snap Launches High Speed Portal, Adds Content Partners

Michele Masterson
InternetNews.com Associate Editor

NBC/CNET portal Snap Tuesday released "Cyclone," its next generation version for high-speed users which incorporates rich media including video, audio, gaming, animation and telephony services.

Cyclone will officially debut later in the first quarter and will be carried by high-speed Internet providers including GTE InterNetworking, SBC Internet Services, Bell Atlantic Internet Solutions, Epoch Internet, JPSnet, DSLnetworks, EastLink Cable, and Triax Communications.

Individual ISPs will offer customized versions of Cyclone geared towards specific communities and users. For example, GTE Internetworking will offer a Cyclone versions to its Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) Internet access service. The service will also retain Snap content such as news, finance, sports, entertainment, television, music, video, games, movies, computing, shopping and travel.

Initial Cyclone partners also announced Tuesday under the SnapFirst content partner program include: APB Online, Bloomberg, CMP Media's TechWeb, CNBC/Dow Jones Business Video, CNET, INTERVU Inc., MSNBC, NBC Entertainment, Preview Travel, Quokka Sports, Resort Sports Network, The Rolling Stone Network, SonicNet, Sony Online Entertainment, Spinner.com; Total Sports, UltimateTV, VideoSeeker and WeatherLabs.

Cyclone will be offered as a free option via the Snap site. In addition, Cyclone will be incorporated into all NBC Television Network analog and digital enhanced broadcasts and enhanced telecasts of CNBC programming. NBC and CNBC's enhanced telecasts will be available on TVs and personal computers that use Microsoft WebTV, Intel's Intercast and similar technologies.

Initial e-commerce partners include iVillage Inc., Preview Travel and Tower Records. Snap said it expects to announce additional e-tailers in the coming months.

"Internet portal users who have access to higher-speed Internet connections are looking for a rich, full experience, not just text-based lists of Web sites," said Halsey Minor, chairman and chief executive officer of CNET Inc.

"With our groundbreaking Snap Cyclone service, we will become the first Internet portal company to offer these users the ability to move beyond text to a world of video, audio, animation, and more."

"The creation of Snap Cyclone marks a major next step in the future of the Internet portal market and is exactly the type of move we had in mind when we first announced our initial deal to operate Snap," said Tom Rogers, president, NBC Cable and business development.