September 6, 2007, 12:00 AM

WWE tag-teaming with Microsoft to upgrade online video

World Wrestling Entertainment and Microsoft are developing a new interactive video player to deliver streaming video to WWE.com’s 20 million unique monthly visitors.

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are developing a new interactive video player to deliver all streaming video content to WWE.com’s 20 million unique visitors per month. The technology will serve as the primary front-end tool for delivering 14,000 video clips including original online shows, highlights from weekly WWE programming and classic moments from WWE’s past.

WWE.com, No. 304 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, will use Microsoft’s Silverlight cross-browser, cross-platform interactive plug-in as the primary video display. The site currently streams more than 40 million videos each month, but the new technology will take video to a new level, says Ross Angert, WWE.com’s creative director.

“Using the Silverlight tool kit we have been able to take advantage of tremendous creative flexibility and create a compelling user environment that our previous video product had only begun to offer,” Angert says. “We plan to continue to use these new tools to extend the WWE brand and the consumption of our unique and amazing content.”

Silverlight was designed to reduce development and deployment costs and provide enhanced web audio and video streaming and playback using Windows Media Technologies, Microsoft says.

WWE plans to use the platform to provide a “rich and compelling ‘Web 2.0’ experience to the WWE fan nation,” the company says.

WWE is using the technology to develop a new fan interface, “while at the same time providing advertisers with new and innovative methods by which to reach the loyal and dedicated WWE customer base,” the company says. On Tuesday Microsoft publicly released Silverlight 1.0, a web plug-in that enables the development of interactive user experiences.

“We are committed to using cutting-edge technology to create the most immersive online experience we can,” says Jonathan Zerden, WWE vice president, interactive technologies.

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