StarMedia, WorldGate Sign Internet Agreement

Internet media company StarMedia Network Inc. and interactive television and broadband specialist WorldGate Communications Inc. yesterday signed an agreement to provide Spanish and Portuguese content for WorldGate's Internet on Every TV Service in Latin America and Spain.

StarMedia will provide WorldGate's subscribers with Spanish and Portuguese TV content including local news, weather, sports, games and search applications, StarMedia said in a statement issued yesterday.

Using WorldGate's patented Channel Hyperlinking technology, StarMedia will supply users with additional services such as interactive advertising. Using Channel Hyperlinking, users will be able to connect in real-time from the program they are watching on TV to a related Web site, avoiding having to type in any kind of Web address, StarMedia said.

WorldGate is a leading supplier of high-performance, low-cost broadband Internet access and interactive television services using the cable television infrastructure. The company is planning to trial or deploy its services in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Mexico and Ecuador in the near future, StarMedia said. Similar deployments and trials are also planned for Spain.

Latin America is predicted by analysts to be a lucrative market for pay-TV players, with a recent report from the Strategis Group, estimating that the number of pay-TV subscribers in the region's leading six markets will more than double to almost 28 million in 2003, up from 13 million last year.

StarMedia Network operates StarMedia, a portal for Spanish and Portuguese speakers; Periscopio, an information portal for Spanish speakers worldwide; LatinRed, one of the largest Spanish language online communities; Open Chile, a local Chilean portal; Cade and Zeek, two online directories in Brazil; StarMedia Broadband, the company's broadband services arm; and StarMedia Mobile, its wireless division.

StarMedia, based in New York, can be reached at http://www.starmedia.com/.

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