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ABC, ESPN get into e-commerce

The two sites join with marketing firm Roxy.com to sell satellite systems, DVD equipment, and other consumer products.

ABC and ESPN are getting into the e-commerce game.

ABCNews.com/ESPN Internet Ventures--a joint venture of Starwave, ABC News, and ESPN--is partnering with Net marketing firm Roxy.com to create a cobranded store selling DSS/DirecTV home satellite TV systems, Cambridge Soundworks "surround sound" home theater equipment, DVD devices, and other consumer products.

The store will be featured as a link on the following ABCNews.com/ESPN Internet Ventures sites: ESPN SportsZone, ABCNews.com, NBA.com, NASCAR Online, Mr. Showbiz, and Wall of Sound.

Television networks have been raising the stakes in their Net offerings, trying to attract viewers and the ad dollars they draw. The market is crowded, however, and the networks have to compete with a broad array of news, entertainment, and online service sites.

Along with advertising, Web sites are turning to e-commerce for additional revenue. As confidence in the security of Net commerce grows and online retail operations such as bookseller Amazon.com succeed, sites that previously provided only content are adding product sales to their businesses.

Under the terms of the new deal, Roxy.com will provide e-commerce software, marketing, and fulfillment services for the store. RoxyNet--the company's e-commerce software--was developed with IBM and Trifecta Technologies. The software allows for online price and product comparisons, digital coupons delivered by email to registered visitors, and personalization, according to Roxy.com.