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Yahoo! expands services

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Yahoo! Inc. launched a subscription service Monday that features video and audio from the NCAA basketball tournament, "American Idol," The Weather Channel and other sources in an effort to boost revenues and attract more broadband users.

The company, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., said the multimedia features will be available to both dial-up and high-speed users, though broadband customers who have fast cable or Digital Subscriber Line Internet connections will see the most benefit. The cost of Yahoo Platinum will be $9.95 a month.

In recent months, Yahoo has countered a drop-off in advertising revenue by charging for some services, including advanced e-mail, video games and Web hosting. At the same time, Yahoo and other content providers are trying to attract broadband customers who tend to spend more time — and money — online.

"With the significant increase in broadband adoption over the last two years, more consumers are turning to the Internet for their entertainment and information needs," said Jim Moloshok, a Yahoo vice president.

Yahoo Platinum content includes:

Live coverage of all 56 games in the first and second rounds as well as the regional semifinals of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. The service also will include news conferences and other events.

Footage from CBS's "Survivor: The Amazon" series, including scenes from the camp, conversations and disputes that are not in the regular broadcasts.

Behind-the-scenes video from Fox's "American Idol," including rehearsal video.

Access to live NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch series events, including in-car audio.

News from ABC and CBS MarketWatch, as well as daily video forecasts from The Weather Channel.

Yahoo Platinum will compete with Real Networks' SuperPass service, which includes live audio from more than 2,400 Major League Baseball games as well as news from CNN.