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Netchannel Boosts Staffing, Expands Operations Center; Sold Out RCA Network Computer Boosts Subscriber Base.

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 20, 1998-- Racing to keep up with a rising viewer base fueled by sold-out sales of the RCA Network Computer and expansion into Canada, NetChannel announced today increased staffing and a new network operations center which will increase the scalability of the service for up to one million subscribers.

"In just four short months, NetChannel has gone from initial consumer trials to the fastest growing Web-enhanced television service on the market," said Philip J. Monego, NetChannel president and CEO. "We are continuing to work with our partner, Thomson Consumer Electronics, on additional marketing and research programs to further enhance the television viewer's experience with relevant resources from the Web."

To respond to the thousands of queries NetChannel receives daily, NetChannel has added 40 additional customer care representatives to support the demand for information about the service and its features and capabilities. The additional staff will work from the company's existing California-based service center.

The new Network Operations Center (NOC) in Santa Clara, Calif. complements the company's existing service center in Norcross, Ga., which provides service to NetChannel's U.S. and Canadian subscribers.

In addition to increased scalability, the new NOC will increase the speed and reliability for NetChannel's existing North American viewers. NetChannel also operates a separate NOC in London, England for its United Kingdom subscribers.

Launched on Sept. 15, 1997, NetChannel is available for $19.95 per month with the RCA Network Computer, sold at retail locations nationwide for $199 with a wired keyboard and $249 with a wireless keyboard.

NetChannel and its partner Thomson Consumer Electronics are conducting a comprehensive analysis of NetChannel's subscriber data and hosting consumer focus groups over the next month to continue to add service and feature enhancements.

NetChannel's success is attributed to its compelling features including personalized TV channels of online programming, a one-touch tune and record Electronic Program Guide and strong content partnerships with leading television and online brands including A&E, E! Online, CBS SportsLine, Amazon.com, Quicken Financial Network and Ticketmaster among many others.

Thomson Consumer Electronics announced in December 1997 that the RCA Network Computer featuring NetChannel is sold-out at wholesale through February 1998, far exceeding sales expectations for its first holiday selling season. -0- More information about NetChannel

NetChannel is a personalized, web-enhanced television service that enhances and expands the television experience for consumers. NetChannel is the service provider for Thomson Consumer Electronics' consumer Internet access device, the network computer.

Thomson Consumer Electronics is the nation's leading manufacturer of color TVs and VCRs under the RCA, ProScan and GE brands. Founded in 1996, the company employs a staff of 125, with offices in South San Francisco, Atlanta and London. NetChannel Europe, a wholly owned subsidiary of NetChannel Inc., is based in London. For more information please see NetChannel's Web site at http://www.netchannel.net

NetChannel is a trademark of NetChannel Inc. All other trademarks are the properties of their respective companies. NetChannel's logo, screen shots and photographs of executives are available to the media upon request.

CONTACT: NetChannel Inc.

Pat Reilly, 650/615-8756

preilly@netchannel.net

or

Tim Eaton, 650/615-8741

teaton@netchannel.net
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 20, 1998
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