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Blending PC and TV through fantasy football

Attention couch potatoes: Watch NFL games and your fantasy football league's activity at the same time.

Companies have tried to blend the TV and PC experiences for years without much success, but Yahoo and Intel are going to see if fantasy football can do the trick.

The two companies have announced that consumers will be able to watch NFL games and observe what is going on with their Yahoo fantasy football league on the same screen, simultaneously.


The system requires a Viiv PC, an Intel-based PC designed to simplify access to and storage of movies, video, TV programs and music.

By clicking a remote, users will be able to check scores of fantasy or real games, get a bird's-eye view of league happenings, and get automated updates on specific teams.

Watchers will also be able to split the screen, so the game is taking place on the left side, while the stats from the fantasy league are updated on the right.

"It is one screen, which is great," said Patrick Barry, director of digital home at Yahoo. "When a commercial comes up, you can toggle off and figure out what Donovan McNabb is doing."

Yahoo has around 6.7 million subscribers in its fantasy sports league and football is the most popular sport. In Yahoo fantasy football, consumers develop fantasy teams from rosters of existing players. So, they cannot create games with the 1923 Chicago Bears or see what would happen if Johnny Unitas could travel through time.

Viiv PCs are selling well, but they're far from a household name. One of the difficulties in positioning Viiv has been identifying compelling services or capabilities that regular PCs can't offer.

In the first generation of Viiv services, which came out in January, users with a Viiv could take video downloaded from a particular service and view it on a TV. The video (from the particular Viiv-enhanced services) could not be transferred to the big screen if a regular PC was being used.

The Yahoo deal enhances Viiv by providing a single-screen experience, said Kevin Corbett, a vice president in the Intel Digital Home group.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini earlier in the year said the goal is to sell more Viivs than Centrino notebooks in the first year of sales. Centrino came out in 2003.