High-Definition Channel Produces All-New Series to Provide Comprehensive Coverage of Video Gaming's Biggest Tournament of the Year
Series Debuts on Super Bowl Weekend
New York, NY – January 15, 2008 – Gameplay HD, the first high-definition channel solely dedicated to the world of video gaming, announced today it is teaming up with Electronic Arts (EA) to create a new television series featuring the 2007 EA SPORTS Madden Challenge presented by Best Buy. The six-part series, produced in 1080i and Dolby 5.1 surround sound, will comprise the most comprehensive televised coverage ever of the annual football gaming tournament. Gameplay HD is one of the VOOM HD networks, the world's largest and most diverse suite of high-definition channels, and produces such popular unique series as CinemAddicts as well as coverage of major gaming tournaments from around the world.
Debuting Saturday, February 2, Gameplay HD's new series will kick-off Super Bowl weekend and provide sports fans with a new version of football's most exciting match-up. An hour-long pre-show begins airing on Gameplay HD at 1pm ET and will introduce each of the Madden Challenge Tournament finalists, including a look at how players qualified with regional title wins. Weekly half-hour episodes will continue to premiere Saturdays at 1 PM (ET) and will feature extensive coverage of the Madden Challenge Tournament rounds, as well as gamer portraits, feature segments on the Madden NFL football video game culture and characters, and the strategic plans of all the finalists as they prepare for compelling head-to-head competition. In addition, Gamplay HD will produce a special hour-long episode focusing on the tournament's semi-final and final rounds.
The 2007 EA SPORTS Madden Challenge features 24 finalists, who compete for cash and prizes totaling $100,000, as well as the prestigious title of the 2007 Madden Challenge Champion. The finalists compete in officiated matches, with the winners advancing in a single elimination bracket-style tournament. The 2007 Madden Challenge took place December 12-13 at Universal Studios in Los Angeles.
"As a channel that celebrates games and gamers in true high-definition format, Gameplay HD is the perfect platform for this unprecedented coverage of gaming's most popular tournament," said Mark DeAngelis, VP of Programming for Gameplay HD. "We are thrilled to team with Electronic Arts to create this first-of-its-kind television event, which will bring together gamers from across the globe, and transform the Madden Challenge into a spectacular viewing experience."
"With the tremendous success and turnout that the Madden Challenge presented by Best Buy has generated over the past six years, EA is excited to partner with Gameplay HD to bring the thrill of competition to living rooms across the country," said Doug Scott, VP of Entertainment and Lifestyle, EA. "This is a true testament to the skill of our community, the richness of our technology and the unique position we play in the world of interactive entertainment and sports. By aligning ourselves with a channel that truly celebrates games and gamers, we're able to create a rich television experience based on the ultimate competition for EA SPORTS Madden NFL football fans."
Gameplay HD is the first high-definition channel solely dedicated to the gaming industry. The channel features gaming news and information, original series and specials, tournaments and competitions as well as games from publishers such as Ubisoft, NCsoft, SEGA and Blizzard Entertainment.
About VOOM HD Networks
The VOOM HD networks (www.voom.com) comprise the world's largest suite of high-definition channels for distribution through satellite and cable operators. Produced exclusively in true high-definition and 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound, VOOM HD networks carry programming in categories as diverse as sports, movies, fashion, music and art. The VOOM HD networks' 15 HDTV channels are available in the U.S. on Echostar's DISH Network and Cablevision's iO digital cable service. A 24/7 linear VOOM HD channel is available internationally and is currently distributed in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Select VOOM HD programming is also available worldwide and has been licensed for exhibition in more than 150 countries. Building on Rainbow Media Holdings LLC's history of original programming innovation, VOOM HD was developed by Rainbow to meet the growing worldwide demand for quality high-definition programming.
About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media is a leading producer of targeted, multi-platform content for global distribution, creating and managing some of the world's most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands, including AMC, IFC, WE tv, LIFESKOOL, SPORTSKOOL, and the VOOM HD networks. Through its IFC Entertainment division, Rainbow Media also owns and operates the following: IFC Films, a theatrical feature film distribution company; IFC First Take/IFC in Theaters, a day and date theatrical feature film/VOD initiative; the IFC Center in New York City; IFC Productions, a feature film production company; and IFC Entertainment, which owns and operates a film library. Rainbow Media also owns and operates Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales company, and Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company.
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, cellular handsets and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTSTM, EATM, EA SPORTS BIGTM and POGOTM. In fiscal 2007, EA posted revenue of $3.09 billion and had 24 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://info.ea.com.
EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS BIG, and POGO are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. John Madden and NFL are trademarks of their respective owners and used with permission. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.