RealTime IT News

WebTV, Samsung Form Strategic Alliance

WebTV Networks Inc. said that Samsung branded WebTV Plus Receivers will be available this summer through targeted promotional programs, such as the Home Shopping Network, through its 24-hour television programming, and direct marketer Hanover Direct Inc.

"We are pleased to be working with Samsung Electronics America, a television industry giant," said Steve Perlman, president of Microsoft's WebTV Networks. "Samsung's commitment to pursue opportunities in diversified markets reflects our shared interest in targeting the untapped demand for WebTV products beyond the traditional retail channel."

The WebTV Plus system, which includes the WebTV Plus Receiver and the WebTV Plus Network service, integrates television programming with Internet content and services.

Said Paul Wasek, senior product manager, digital products for Samsung Electronics America, said: "Aligning with Microsoft's WebTV Networks, The Home Shopping Network and Hanover Direct will help Samsung accomplish its goal of expanding the company's scope into these diversified channels, paving the way for future products."

Home Shopping, which already is marketing the products, owns the Internet Shopping Network, one of the larger electronic retailers on the Internet.

Beginning in August, Hanover Direct Inc., a specialty direct marketer of catalogs such as The Company Store, Domestications, Silhouettes and Gump's, will market Samsung branded WebTV Plus Receivers to its direct-mail and online customer base.

WebTV Networks Inc. operates the WebTV Network service and develops the WebTV Internet Terminal, available for $99, and WebTV Plus Receiver, starting at $199. Both are available through the company's U.S. licensees, Sony Electronics Inc. and Philips Consumer Electronics Company at U.S. consumer electronics stores nationwide. The WebTV Plus Receiver is also available from Mitsubishi Consumer Electronics America.

WebTV Networks, based in Mountain View, CA, is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corp.