Cartoon net routes games to consoles

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The Cartoon Network's new-media arm is expanding its games distribution to video game consoles through a new browser application developed at AFI's Digital Content Lab.

By early 2008, the new "Mega Series" window will deliver an interactive video and gaming experience to such broadband-enabled consoles as Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii as well as to PCs. Additionally, the application can be adapted for distribution to a broad array of devices, including mobile phones.

Cartoon Network is the first television network to use Adobe's Flash technology to reach the massive console audience. Mega Series programming will be based on Cartoon Network and Adult Swim TV shows. The content is being designed to be played simultaneously with streaming video and delivered episodically over time.

Ross Cox, senior director of entertainment products, Cartoon Network New Media, said this initiative effectively demonstrates how the console browser can be utilized as a new distribution platform.

"Developing applications like Mega Series is an important complement to our existing online and mobile businesses and a part of Cartoon Network's digital growth strategy," said Paul Condolora, senior vp and GM of Cartoon Network New Media. "Not only does Mega Series extend our reach, but more importantly provides an opportunity to offer a unique content and user experience for our audience."

The Mega Series is a custom application accessible through a console browser and a PC browser. Once the application is built, the interface will be customized for the Flash capabilities of each distribution platform -- including PC, PS3 or mobile phone -- creating a VOD and gaming experience.

CartoonNetwork.com is one of the most popular entertainment sites for kids, attracting millions of unique users each week. Its roster of games drew more than 2 billion gameplays in 2006. In addition, Cartoon Network New Media is the creative force behind Cartoon Network's VOD, interactive TV and mobile offerings, which include partnerships with major carriers like Sprint, Cingular and Verizon.
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