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NTN, ABC in Oscar pact

The rush to make the Oscars interactive continues.

ABC and the NTN Entertainment Network, an interactive television web, have cut a deal to produce an interactive live telecast of the Academy Awards ceremony, set to air tonight on ABC.

On Friday, the two announced the arrangement, which will allow NTN subscribers to join in a networkwide competition to predict the night’s winners.

Viewers will participate in the contest by using NTN-supplied cordless keyboards to enter in their guesses for the major awards.

The network’s Carlsbad mainframe will tabulate the results, sending back ongoing results, which will be shown throughout the telecast.

Winners will receive various prizes, including a year’s supply of movie passes. More than 1,500 bars, hotels and other service-industry businesses subscribe to the network, with more than 6 million estimated participants/viewers each month.

The NTN-ABC venture joins a similar Prodigy-Comedy Central telecast and a CompuServe project on the Oscar-infobahn.

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