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NASCAR Speeds onto the Internet: TEN Puts Pedal to the Metal with Sierra On-Line and NASCAR.

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 3, 1996--

TEN offers first officially sanctioned professional sport

on the Internet

A new breed of professional sports will hit the Internet as the NASCAR(R) Racing Online Series (NRO) and NASCAR Racing 2 accelerate onto Total Entertainment Network (TEN) (http://www.ten.net).

TEN announced today that Papyrus, an award-winning division of Sierra On-Line, named it the exclusive multiplayer Internet entertainment network to carry NRO and NASCAR Racing 2. The relationship between TEN and NRO creates the first professional online sport by combining a classic authentic racing computer game and the cutting edge technology of TEN. The agreement broadens TEN's offerings to members by adding the high-speed action of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) to its list of hit PC titles.

Coming to TEN's virtual raceway in early 1997, NRO joins NASCAR famous sister-series events -- which include the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. As an officially sanctioned series, NASCAR will monitor and officiate NRO to maintain the league's high quality of competition and entertainment. The online league allows players to experience true NASCAR racing as NRO accurately simulates the authentic NASCAR environment from race car set up, "Rules of Competition" and track conditions to qualifying and race strategy.

To become an official member of the NRO, purchasers of NASCAR Racing 2 will join TEN's Internet entertainment network and compete with more than 30 car racing fans simultaneously in an unlimited number of concurrent races. Diehard racing fans can challenge anyone in North America and become full-fledged members of the NASCAR organization.

"Based on our in-depth research of online gaming services, we concluded that TEN was best suited to accommodate the intense, fast-action driving that takes place on NRO," said Ed Martin, manager and series director of the NASCAR Racing Online Series. "Its unparalleled Internet technology provides the best and most consistent low-latency multiplayer gaming solution -- a necessity for fast-action games such as NASCAR Racing 2."

"This project basically creates a new series within NASCAR and certainly goes beyond a traditional licensing relationship," said Mike Helton, NASCAR's vice president of competition. "The competition department has been involved in this project from the beginning and will continue to be involved. We take the competition aspect of this online racing league just as serious as any other NASCAR division."

"This partnership clearly validates TEN's leadership role in the Internet entertainment services market from a technology, content and community standpoint," said Jack Heistand, president and CEO of TEN. "As a company, we are excited to broaden our content offerings to appeal to the interests of game-playing consumers nationwide."

When NASCAR Racing 2 speeds onto the retail shelves this week, car racing enthusiasts can easily become members of TEN's community by simply clicking on the TEN icon. TEN's software is built into the game and provides simple access for those interested in experiencing online multiplayer gaming. Kicking off the relationship, TEN and Sierra On-Line offer NASCAR Racing 2 purchasers the opportunity to enter and win a trip to the Charlotte Motor Speedway to see a NASCAR Winston Cup Series event in May. NASCAR Racing 2 is the sequel to the popular NASCAR Racing(R), which has sold more than 700,000 copies to date, and is developed by Papyrus.

To sign up for the TEN service, people can download the software or request a free CD-ROM at the company's Web site at http://www.ten.net. Technical support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1/800-8040-TEN. Customer support is available daily 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (PST).

For optimal performance, TEN recommends a Pentium 90 with Windows 95, 16 MB RAM, 28.8k bps modem and 2X speed CD-ROM drive. The minimum requirements for using the TEN network are 486/66DX2, Windows 95, 8 MB RAM and a 14.4k bps modem.

NASCAR Racing 2 will be available on IBM PC CD-ROM at computer stores everywhere or by calling Sierra direct at 800/757-7707. Estimated retail price is $54.95. Other NASCAR racing products releasing this fall by Papyrus are NASCAR Racing for Mac and NASCAR Racing for the PlayStation(TM).

Sierra On-Line is one of the original developers and largest worldwide publishers of interactive entertainment, productivity and educational software. The company recently merged with CUC International, a technology-driven, membership-services company that provides access to travel, shopping, auto, dining, home improvement, financial and other services to 62.5 million consumers worldwide. The company's common stock is traded on the NYSE under the symbol CU. Sierra's corporate headquarters are located in Bellevue, Wash.

Incorporated in 1948, NASCAR is the most competitive form of motorsports in the world today. Close, side-by-side competition is the foundation for NASCAR-style racing as it strives to continue to make stock car racing in the United States highly competitive, affordable and entertaining at approximately 2,000 events in 12 racing divisions at more than 100 tracks throughout the United States each year.

Total Entertainment Network is the premier Internet entertainment network. TEN has online rights to more than 25 games, half of which are TEN exclusives, by leading software publishers including 3D Realms Entertainment, Accolade, Apogee, Blizzard, Eidos Interactive (formerly Domark), id Software, Maxis, MicroProse, SSI and Westwood Studios. Based in San Francisco, TEN was formed in 1995 from the merger of Planet Optigon, Inc. and Outland, Inc. TEN received its initial funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, with subsequent investors including: Ameritech; Goldman Sachs; Robertson, Stephens & Company and Vertex Management. -0-

Registered trademarks and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Total Entertainment Network and the TEN logo are trademarks of T E Network, Inc. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

NASCAR Racing, NASCAR Racing 2, NASCAR Racing for the Playstation and NASCAR Racing for Mac are officially licensed by NASCAR(R).

PlayStation is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

CONTACT: TEN Press Contact:

Kaufer Miller Communications

Kirstie Bingham or Michele Ruegg

Tel: 206/450-9965

Fax: 206/450-9963

Internet: KirstieB@kmcomm.com or MicheleR@kmcomm.com

or

Sierra On-Line Press Contact:

Erica Yenni

Tel: 206/649-9800 ext. 5891

Fax: 206/641-7617

Internet: erica.yenni@sierra.com

or

NASCAR Press Contact:

John Griffin

Tel: 904/947-6834

Internet: jgriffin@race.nascar.com
COPYRIGHT 1996 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Dec 3, 1996
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