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Game Show Network Enhances Lineup

Who says interactivity is dead? Game Show Network continues to add interactive users to its database and new interactive TV shows to its program lineup.

The network is now up to 84 hours per week, and 12 hours per day of interactive programming, according to GSN senior vice president, interactive and online entertainment John Roberts. And GSN's registered database of users has surpassed the 1 million mark, less than two years after launch. "People who had been confused about what it meant have discovered interactive TV," he said.

GSN's interactivity is of the play-along-on-the-PC-while-watching-TV variety. The next two interactive shows it will debut are National Lampoon's Funny Money
and Chuck Woolery: Naturally Stoned, starting June 15. A new season of interactive episodes of Cram
is slated to debut this summer.

Funny Money
combines the elements of a game show and standup comedy. Two contestants choose questions and three comedians do 45 seconds of standup as part of the question/answer. Audience members have their own "funny meters" to help rate the comedians responses. Naturally Stoned
is a reality TV show that follows around the family of TV game show host Woolery. Prior to his current career, Woolery penned a pop tune, "Naturally Stoned," in 1968, hence the show's name.

Roberts said 75% of the audience comes back to play again and the average tune-in time is 27 minutes. The median age of users also is skewing younger, from age 31 last year to 29 this year.

That will help the advertising picture. Roberts said GSN has attracted more than 45 interactive advertisers. Some 88% of the interactive audience connects with the interactive ads, he said. In fact, the interactive shows are now part of GSN's core upfront advertising presentation. "We're trying to make it more like a premium CPM," he said. "It allows us to say what kind of a TiVo-proof network we are."

Later this year, Roberts said GSN will add interactive features to archived game shows, like The Newlywed Game
and the current Weakest Link. Earlier this year, the network added interactive elements to vintage game show episodes of Family Feud
and The Match Game.

GSN has also expanded it's Web-site at, now offering five multiplayer games. "The online community is growing," Roberts said. "People are creating their own leagues."

Broadband penetration also is helping GSN, because it makes getting online to play that much easier, Roberts said. Broadband users don't gain a speed advantage during game play over narrowband users, Roberts said. But during some games, GSN can tell that 50% of users are on broadband connections.

GSN also is working on one-screen, TV interactivity using the currently deployed digital set-tops, Roberts said.