For immediate release
Creation of Synchronized Content Continues Volvo's Groundbreaking Year of
NEW YORK, Nov. 12, 2001 - One of the most popular interview programs on television will become an interactive television experience as Bravo's "Inside the Actors Studio" joins with Volvo Cars of North America to create the first synchronized interactive program of its kind. Volvo, building on a year of creating groundbreaking interactive television (ITV) firsts, will sponsor the creation of content linked to each episode of the acclaimed interview program, beginning Sunday, November 18 at 8:00 PM ET/ 9:00 PM PT with guest Sean Penn.
Participants who are logged on to the Internet will be able to use their PC to log on to the Internet at www.bravotv.com, or utilize the technologies offered by Microsoft Ultimate TV, MSNTV or AOLTV to view the interactive content on their television screen along with the TV broadcast of "Inside The Actors Studio." All interactive users will have the ability to join into quizzes, participate in polls, access bios, and enter discussion groups. Most important, this all takes place in real time, which enables them to view the program simultaneously.
"Inside The Actors Studio," Bravo's Emmy-nominated original series, spotlights actors, writers, directors and composers in intimate discussions on their craft and artistry. Host James Lipton will welcome a new group of talent who will join the ranks of Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mike Myers and Steven Spielberg, all of whom have shared their unique and interesting insights with Bravo's audience.
The partnership between Bravo and Volvo creates a new milestone in interactive programming. Until now, simultaneous content has been limited to sports and game show programming. Now, viewers of one of today's most erudite talk shows will explore the possibilities through this unique new medium. Volvo's presence is felt before, during and after the program through additional content, as well as "opt-in" features such as signing up for regular e-mail notifications on forthcoming episodes.
Sunday, November 18 8:00PM/ET Sean Penn
Sunday, November 25 8:00PM/ET Kevin Costner
Sunday, December 9 8:00PM/ET Helen Hunt
Sunday, December 16 8:00PM/ET Michael Douglas
Sunday, December 23 8:00PM/ET Ellen Barkin
Sunday, December 30 8:00PM/ET Kevin Spacey
"Extensive studies have found that Bravo viewers tend to be early adopters of emerging technology trends. With this in mind, they are more likely to have a computer in the same room as their television than would the general population. They recognize the advantages that can be ascertained by utilizing them simultaneously, and are interested in receiving as much information about our programming as possible. By offering a two-screen (television and computer) synchronized product, we enhance our audience's control and overall experience, while increasing value to our advertisers," said Cynthia Burnell, Senior Vice President/General Manager, Bravo Networks Digital Media.
She added, "Now, "Inside the Actors Studio" has the ability to provide viewers with much more than an hour can cover. We are directly tapping into the desire for innovative television by providing our audience with the first-ever synchronized interactive program within an interview formatted show."
The interactive simulcast is a 90-minute event that will simulate a classroom setting with introductory materials offered 15 minutes prior to the television broadcast. The online "class" will be offered simultaneously with the broadcast, and closing with 15 minutes of "classroom discussion" immediately following the broadcast. Furthermore, Bravo will employ chat technology throughout the event, so that the audience members can share ideas, stories, and information with each other all in real time.
For those interested in learning more about Volvo, users are given the opportunity to get exclusive information about Volvo's line of premium automobiles. Volvo will provide links to its acclaimed website and help visitors explore in-depth information on purchasing or leasing a car, automotive safety, design and other topics of interest.
"Bravo viewers and Volvo customers have a great deal in common," said Phil Bienert, Manager, CRM and Future Product Strategy for Volvo Cars of North America, LLC. "In addition to their discerning tastes and appetite for information, we believe that these kinds of consumers are leading the way in online communication. By providing them with information they want, in an entertaining and compelling way, we're initiating a dialogue with them - on their terms."
This interactive sponsorship was created by Fuel North America, the integrated marketing unit of New York-based advertising agency Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer Euro RSCG - Volvo's agency of record. Cylo, the foremost creator of interactive content in the production world today, will produce the wide variety of content to be seen on the interactive site.
This is the second major interactive television campaign from Volvo. Earlier this year, they helped create "The Road to the Volvo S60," an interactive complement to the NCAA basketball finals that reached viewers on television, ITV and the Internet as well as through hand-held devices such as cellular phones and PDAs.
Bravo, The Film and Arts Network, offers critically acclaimed American and international films as well as performing arts, including dance, theater, classical music and jazz. Bravo reaches more than 60 million viewing subscribers nationwide.
Bravo is owned and managed by Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. A subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC) and NBC, Rainbow also manages American Movie Classics, We: Women's Entertainment, Bravo, The Independent Film Channel, MuchMusic USA, Rainbow Sports, News 12 Networks and MetroChannels as well as the Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation and Rainbow Network Communications. In addition, Rainbow is a fifty-percent partner in FOX Sports Net.
A new series of Cablevision common stock -- Rainbow Media Group tracking stock (NYSE:RMG) -- began trading on the NYSE on March 30th. The assets that comprise Rainbow Media Group tracking stock include: American Movie Classics, Bravo, The Independent Film Channel, WE: Women's Entertainment (formerly Romance Classics), MuchMusic USA, Rainbow's interest in the national service FOX Sports Net, Rainbow's six regional sports channels outside of the New York market, and Rainbow Network Communications.
Volvo Cars of North America, LLC is part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Goteborg, Sweden. The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to Volvo automobile retailers in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The 2002 Volvo automobile line includes the sporty S60 and S60 AWD sedans, the flagship S80 luxury sedan, versatile V70 wagon and rugged Cross Country, C70 coupe and convertible, and compact S40 and V40 models.
New York-based Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/EURO RSCG is among the top 20 advertising agencies in the United StatesCylo is an interactive media solutions company with proven expertise and longstanding relationships in traditional television advertising, promotion, marketing, and production.
Volvo Cars of North America, LLC
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Irvine, CA 92618-2922