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Americans love television, especially this time of year when most of our outdoor activities are limited. The World Wide Web offers a convenient way to learn about all your favorite television shows. All the major networks and even some local stations have World Wide Web sites which deliver information on upcoming programs, schedules, and on-air personalities.
The ABC Television Network site (http://www.abctelevision.com) has information about some of its current shows and news about upcoming events. Included are photos and biographies of the stars as well as audio and video files which can be downloaded and played on your computer. Additionally, you can send email to your favorite star. Unfortunately, most of ABC's popular shows do not appear on the web site. We were also disappointed to find that daily and weekly schedules of programming are not listed.
If you're interested in checking out ABC's local affiliate, go to WKBW's home page on the Web (http://www.wkbw.com). This page has a nice local flavor to it and has much more useful information than ABC's; it even has a programming scheduling! Besides information on NewsChannel 7's on-air schedules and personalities, this site has many links to information about Western New York and the world. For example, WKBW's Sports section has links to many different Buffalo Bills sites and other national Internet sites.
CBS Television Network's Web site (http://www.cbs.com) is certainly more robust than ABC's. At this site you'll find up to date information about CBS and fun things to investigate. Who is David Letterman's guest tonight? With one easy click on the David Letterman link you are transported to the Late Show site (http://www.cbs.com/lateshow). There's an archive of Dave's Top Ten Lists and you'll also find the address of where to send your postcard if you want to get tickets to the Late Show. Check out the CBS photo gallery at (http://www.cbs.com/eyeware) to see photographs of all of your favorite CBS stars. You can also order CBS products from the CBS Store Online Catalog (http://www.cbs.com/blackrock/store.html).
The CBS home page also has links to other fascinating areas. Click on CBS Up To The Minute and jump over to find up to the minute news. CBS News is also the first US Television Web Site to offer real-time, streaming video. The instructions are on-line if you're interested in giving this a try. If you've never been to this site before make it a priority next time you're surfing, it's sure to be informative and fun.
Not to be outdone, NBC (http://www.nbc.com) also has a great Internet site filled with information and cool graphics. Skip over to (http://www.nbc.com/stations) to get a clickable map of the United States all you need to do is click on your state and up comes a complete listing of NBC's affiliate stations in your area. If your local station happens to have a web site or email address you can click on their link. This site has up to date news stories and information about their television programming. Click on the NBC and Microsoft link from the NBC home page to learn about their new joint venture to create a global 24-hour news and information cable network and interactive online service.
Though FOX is considered the fourth major television network, it certainly stacks up well against the competitors Internet sites. Fox Broadcasting Company (http://www.foxnetwork.com) in fact may be the best of all the television sites that we visited. Check out all of the sports information at (http://www.foxnetwork.com/sports/) or the FOX Kids Network at (http://www.foxnetwork.com/kids). Your children can join the FOX kids club or enter the FOX sweepstakes for the coolest kid prizes on the Internet. We really enjoyed going into the what's new to find out what FOX stars will be available to chat with electronically. That's right, if you have a particular star you want to speak with they just might be available on the Internet (http://www.foxnetwork.com/WhatsNew).
The Public Broadcasting System also has a great Internet site at PBS ONLINE (http://www.pbs.org). It has all the things you would expect a network television site to have: current schedules, programming information and features. A nice feature is the listing of pages for some of PBS' more popular shows. If you're a fan of This Old House, check out that show's page (http://www.boston.com/wgbh/pages/thisoldhouse/tohhome.html). You can also get information about the children's programming PBS offers (http://www.pbs.org/rtl/childprog.html).
Of course there are also numerous sites for the Cable Television networks. Some of the best include the Cable News Network (http://www.cnn.com), ESPN (espnet.sportszone.com), CNBC (http://www.cnbc.com), CourtTV (http://www.courttv.com), and the Travel Channel Online Network (http://www.travelchannel.com).
We would also like to mention that one of the neat things you can do on the Internet is find information out about television programming worldwide. Besides watching the news, we find this to be an interesting way to find out what's going on in a country. Probably the easiest way to look for foreign broadcasters is to go to the television section of Yahoo (http://www.yahoo.com/Entertainment/Television/) and find the country you're interested in. During our surfing, we landed at Great Britain's BBC (http://www.bbcnc.org.uk/tv) and Canada's CBC (http://www.cbc.ca). We also were able to check out Japan's Nippon Television Network (http://www.ntv.co.jp/index2.html). You can even view this one in Japanese!
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