Samsung Electronics Corp., Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) and CBS Television announced today a partnership that will allow fans to watch a full season of college football games in HDTV. The agreement marks the first time a full season of college football has been broadcast in HDTV, as well as the first time a retailer, broadcaster and manufacturer have joined forces to jointly promote HDTV usage.
Samsung and Sears have partnered to produce an "HDTV Game Day" promotion in which Sears full-line stores across the U.S. will show a leading game each week during the regular season on a Samsung HDTV. The in-store broadcasts will be shown in a setting that will allow consumers to compare the experience of an HDTV broadcast with that of regular television.
The HDTV televised football schedule kicks off with coverage of the September 15 match-up between Tennessee and Florida -- live from Gainesville, FL -- and culminates with the Army/Navy game on December 1. The schedule also includes the annual battle between Florida and Florida State November 17.
"Samsung is pleased to team up with CBS and Sears to deliver a season of NCAA action in the high definition format," said John Garrison, Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Samsung Electronics America. "Samsung believes in the spirit of free, over-the-air Digital TV and would like to see everyone invited to share in this vision. The 'HDTV Game Day' event makes Sears stores the destination every Saturday for many sports fans' first exposure to Digital TV. And we're betting that once they experience the Samsung HDTV, they'll make the decision to take the experience home."
"While Sears is a leading retailer in the sales of HDTV, we are aware there is a good deal of confusion among consumers about HDTV," said Ray Brown, vice president/general merchandise manager, electronics for Sears. "With this partnership with Samsung and CBS, Sears is taking a leadership role to help educate millions of consumers about the benefits HDTV offers. So, if you don't have tickets to your favorite SEC football game this fall, come in to Sears to watch the game on HDTV -- it will be the next best thing to being in the stadium."
"Joining with Samsung and Sears to broadcast high definition college football to our audience is a major step in CBS's ongoing, industry-leading efforts to bring the extraordinary HD viewing experience to America's television viewers," said Martin D. Franks, Executive Vice President, CBS Television. "We hope this venture will boost the nation's transition to digital television."
The in-store Sears broadcasts will be possible either through off-air reception of a local CBS affiliate's HDTV signal, where available, or in eligible areas, via satellite provider EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) in which EchoStar provides CBS's HDTV signal exclusively to a Samsung HDTV unit in every Sears store. This arrangement -- struck several weeks ago -- dovetails with the recently announced CBS/EchoStar partnership that will allow certain eligible EchoStar subscribers to access CBS HD signals from either its New York or Los Angeles stations.
CBS Television is comprised of the CBS Television Network -- with more than 200 owned and affiliated stations reaching virtually every television home in the United States; the Network's programming arms CBS Entertainment, CBS News and CBS Sports; and CBS Enterprises, a global leader in distribution.
For the last two years, CBS has been broadcasting the majority of its primetime programming in HDTV. Currently, CBS is broadcasting 17 out of 18 (94%) of its primetime dramas and comedies in HDTV.
CBS's commitment to High Definition extends beyond prime time to many major sporting events. At the beginning of the 2000/2001 season, CBS served up three days of U.S. Open Tennis coverage. This was just the beginning of an exciting season of premier High Definition sports programming including the Thanksgiving Day NFL game, four post-season NFL games, The Super Bowl, Hawaiian Golf Open and, for the second year in a row, the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship and four days of the Masters®.
With the addition of "The Young and the Restless" five days a week and the College Football games to the High Definition program schedule, CBS, on average, will be offering 26 hours per week of compelling HDTV programming. Forty of CBS's owned and affiliated stations currently broadcast in digital television, covering more than 50% of the nation. By the end of 2001, CBS is projecting that 75 stations will be on the air with HDTV, covering potentially 68 million homes.
Samsung Electronics America (SEA) Headquartered in Ridgefield Park, NJ, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA), a wholly owned subsidiary of SEC, markets a broad range of consumer electronics and information systems products. Please visit http://www.samsungusa.com/ for more information.
Samsung Electronics (SEC)
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., with 2000 sales revenue of US$27 billion is a world leader in the electronics industry. The Korea-based company has operations in about 50 countries with 66,000 employees worldwide. The company consists of four main business units: Digital Media, Semiconductor, Information & Communications and Home Appliance Businesses.
About Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) is a leading U.S. retailer of apparel, home and automotive products and services, with annual revenue of more than $40 billion. The company serves families in the U.S. through Sears stores nationwide, including approximately 860 full-line stores. Sears also offers a wide variety of merchandise and services through its Web site, http://www.sears.com .
SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck & Co.
Contact: Dan Berger of Edelman WW for Samsung, +1-212-704-8154; or Dana
McClintock of CBS Television, +1-212-975-1077; or LeslieAnne Wade of CBS
Sports, +1-212-975-5171; or Larry Costello of Sears, +1-847-286-9036