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The Weather Channel and WorldGate Communications Announce First Successful Test of Interactive TV Advertising.

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 28, 1998--

Technical Tests Prove Television Ads Can Be Instantly Linked

To Web Sites Using Current Cable Technology

WorldGate Communications Wednesday announced the successful completion of eight weeks of technological tests with The Weather Channel and Nielsen Media Research, proving that real-time Channel HyperLinking from television advertising to related Web content is possible.

The test results, announced during the @dTech Conference, mean that for the first time, consumers may soon be able to expand beyond the normal passive TV experience and interact with advertising by simply clicking a button on their television remote controls with the Channel HyperLinking technology.

Doing this will automatically send the viewer in real-time directly to the advertiser's Web site, which appears on the television screen without the manual entry of a Web address. The tests are the first ever to combine cable, Internet, satellite and coding standards for the WorldGate Channel HyperLinking platform.

The three companies explained that this breakthrough is made possible through the AMOL II encoding system developed by Nielsen Media Research that puts a "heartbeat" in the programming broadcast stream. This "heartbeat" is recognized by WorldGate's technology and sent to the WorldGate Internet access system at the cable head-end.

The head-end technology does a database search for the specific URL, coded in the broadcast stream, and provides an instant link to that URL via WorldGate's Channel HyperLinking technology. In order for an advertisement's broadcast stream to be recognized, the advertiser will mark the ad with an ISCI code, which is recognized by WorldGate.

"This signals the beginning of truly targeted interactive television advertising," said Gerard Kunkel, vice president of strategic programs for WorldGate. "And there is a great deal to be learned from consumers as advertisers are given the ability to interact with them on a one-to-one basis. Our technology is the simplest to deploy, the simplest to author for, and is being used by consumers today."

As one of the charter members in the development of interact advertising for Channel HyperLinking, The Weather Channel's participation in these tests is yet another example of its ongoing commitment to providing comprehensive programming content and partnering with forward-thinking companies.

"With this test, we have gained valuable experience in deploying interactive content and advertising enabled by the WorldGate platform," said Michael Carey, senior vice president of new media for The Weather Channel. "We are excited about the opportunity to offer both our advertisers and audience the ability to expand interactively beyond the traditional television experience."

The technology tests, which extends advertising standards into the future, did not require a digital set-top box or unique authoring tools, but rather only television, existing cable TV technology and WorldGate's Channel HyperLinking platform.

During the next 12 months, WorldGate will oversee an ongoing marketing study in multiple U.S. markets that are planned to include The Weather Channel, blue-chip advertisers, ad agencies, cable operators, TV networks and related technology companies. The purpose of this study will be to determine consumer acceptance, ad effectiveness and overall impact of Channel HyperLinking on television viewing.

About WorldGate Communications

WorldGate Communications Inc. provides cable subscribers with a fast, easy, inexpensive Internet/television experience using advanced analog or digital cable converter boxes and a television set. The WorldGate service (patents pending) enables full Internet access and e-mail, along with a new technology called Channel HyperLinking.

With more than 70 Channel HyperLinking television networks, WorldGate continues to receive enthusiastic support for its new technology. Interested parties can obtain more information by visiting the company's Web site at or by calling 800/796-9120.

About The Weather Channel

Thlion homes nationwide.

The Weather Channetellite and special lifestyle features. attracts more than 100 million page views every month, anated products and services to several leading-edge online organizations, including: CompuServe, Time Warner'elsen Media Research (NYSE:NMR) is the leading ps, including broadcast networks, cable networkse company is available at the company's Web site:

Note to Editors: WorldGate, C
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 28, 1998
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