CNET Unveils CNET TV 2.0 with Closed Captioning

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Features Include Original Shows, New Personalities, Easy-to-Use Interface, Premier Partner Content, plus New Ad Format for CNET’s Marketing Partners

Last Updated: February 19, 2008 4:10 pm GMT
(San Francisco, California--February 19, 2008) CNET, where people go to discover the latest in technology and consumer electronics information, and a property of CNET Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNET), today announced the official launch of CNET TV 2.0 (www.cnettv.com), featuring closed captioning of its popular video content.

The latest version extends the reach of CNET’s content and original videos to more people interested in learning about the latest tech news and reviews of consumer electronics by addressing the needs of the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.

Starting today, hundreds of CNET TV videos are available with closed captioning on Adobe® Flash® Player 8 and above. A button labeled “CC” is located on the video player and accesses closed captioning on all CNET TV original shows like The Buzz Report, CNET Top 5, CNET Live, CNET Mailbag, Insider Secrets, Prizefight, and Product Spotlight. For all CNET videos, closed captioning will be available shortly after the release of each video on CNET TV.

After the initial launch of CNET TV in April 2006, one of the most common feedback requests from users was for closed captioning. Although the Internet continues to experience explosive growth in online video content, very few media publishers, if any, offer closed captioning today. In keeping with its promise to build a unique experience for its users, CNET worked closely with Automatic Sync Technologies (www.automaticsync.com/caption) and Adobe Systems to create a captioning system that would make its video content accessible to a wider audience.

“There are more than 30 million deaf and hard-of-hearing people in America today, and CNET is proud to be one of the first Web sites to offer comprehensive closed captioning of its video content so this group can turn to CNET to explore today’s digital world,” said Joe Gillespie, executive vice president of CNET. “CNET TV 2.0 embodies everything our users want out of video content – information that is entertaining and easy to understand so that they can get the most out of their tech and CE gadgets.”

“CNET’s decision to incorporate closed captioning into its CNET TV video programming is a textbook example of doing well by doing good, and is emblematic of the interactive media industry’s commitment to innovations that improve peoples’ lives,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

“The addition of closed captioning is an innovative step that shows CNET’s commitment to being accessible for anyone interested in exploring technology,” said Pam Horan, president of the Online Publishers Association. “OPA research has shown that quality news and information sites such as CNET are playing an increasingly vital role in the everyday lives of Americans. As online media grows in importance, it becomes even more essential that it is accessible to all audiences.”

"We applaud CNET's efforts to caption video content on its website," said Nancy J. Bloch, chief executive officer of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). "The NAD has long advocated for accessible Internet videos and we look forward to seeing other media companies follow in CNET's footsteps."

New Features for CNET TV Fans
In addition to closed captioning, CNET TV is also unveiling a more user-friendly design, video content from premier partners such as Geek Entertainment TV and Revision3, and more original shows featuring CNET’s well-known personalities and new additions like Natali Del Conte, former host of PodShow’s TeXtra, and Kara Tsuboi.

New programs include:
  • CNET Live – Brian Cooley, Editor-at-Large, and Tom Merritt, executive editor, answer calls and emails about buying and using technology every Thursday from 1 - 2 p.m. Pacific Time.
  • Loaded – Natali Del Conte, senior editor, provides a daily roundup of the latest tech news.
  • CNET Top 5 – Tom Merritt’s unique perspective on the hottest tech gadgets, web services, and downloads.
  • CNET Mailbag – Molly Wood, host of The Buzz Report, answers the most common questions from users about life and work at CNET.
  • Crossfade TV – The staff of music.download.com shares their favorite music downloads of the week.
  • Product Spotlight – CNET Editors take a closer look at the most popular and buzz-worthy tech gadgets and whether they live up to the hype.


New Advertising Format for Marketers
CNET today also introduced an in-video ad opportunity – the video overlay. The ad unit is an animated flash program that is integrated within the video player, thus minimizing disruption during the CNET TV experience. The video overlay appears in the video player’s lower third, and disappears when there is no user interaction. This offers an alternative to the traditional pre-roll ad format, and an additional interactive component to CNET’s video advertising offerings.

About CNET
CNET (http://www.cnet.com) is where people go to discover the latest in tech and consumer electronics. Driven by a trusted voice and a passionate community, CNET creates an open environment for people to find and use the best products to fit their lifestyle. The powerful combination of CNET's award-winning news, lab-tested product reviews, safe and spyware-free downloads, and user-generated content give people information and inspiration to live and thrive in a life gone digital.

About CNET Networks
CNET Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNET) is an interactive media company that builds brands for people and the things they are passionate about, such as gaming, music, entertainment, technology, business, food, and parenting. The Company's leading brands include CNET, GameSpot, TV.com, MP3.com, CHOW, ZDNet and TechRepublic. Founded in 1992, CNET Networks has a strong presence in the US, Asia, and Europe.

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