Originally created 04/01/97

Disney announces subscription-based web service for kids



BURBANK, Calif. - Walt Disney Co. announced Monday that it will launch a subscription-based Web service for children and families next week to be called Disney's Daily Blast.

The service will feature up to one hour's worth of "programming" a day and will include games, puzzles, animated comic books, sports, news updates and even a computerized coloring book featuring Disney characters.

The service will cost $4.95 a month. To access it, users will need an Internet account.

Under an exclusive deal with The Microsoft Network, MSN's 2.5 million members will get The Daily Blast free for the next 10 months, said Richard Wolpert, senior vice president of technology for Disney Online.

Disney already has a free site on the Web - Disney.com. Wolpert said the paid site is an extension of other Disney products such as its movies, theme parks and home videos.