INTERACTIVE;OLLYWOOD HITS CYBER HIGH;E!, C/NET LAUNCH SPONSORABLE SITE BRINGING MORE GOSSIP, SHOW BIZ TO THE INTERNET

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Two cable services plan to tap one of the Internet's favorite topics-entertainment news-through a new ad-supported Web site.

GOSSIP ONLINE

E! Entertainment Television, Los Angeles, and c/net: the computer network, San Francisco, this spring plan to launch E! Online, providing entertainment news and celebrity gossip. Although the site has yet to sign any advertisers, it plans to use c/net-provided Web tracking and include technologies like Sun Microsystems' Java.

The site, at http://www.eonline.com, will go live today, allowing visitors to sign up for E! Online's E!mail newsletter and to submit suggestions.

At full launch, the site plans to be 100% ad-supported, however down the road it plans to charge users premiums for certain areas of content.

E! Online is targeting movie studios and automotive companies for site sponsorships. Rates haven't been set, but will be based on cost per impression.

Aside from sexually oriented categories, Yahoo lists entertainment, computers and Internet-in that order-as the most frequently accessed topics.

Currently, the leading Web sites covering entertainment are Hollywood Online, recently purchased by Times Mirror Corp., and Starwave Corp.'s Mr. Showbiz.

SLIM AD BUDGET

Although c/net was launched with a $1 million online advertising budget, E!'s budget is expected to be considerably smaller, consisting primarily of promotions on TV programming, said Halsey Minor, c/net CEO.

E!, half owned by Time Warner, reaches 37 million subscribers, while c/net produces a weekly cable TV show.

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