Watching television at work? Employees won't be encouraged to catch up with the soaps anytime soon, but exceptions might be made for investment television delivered to the desktop, via the Internet, from Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., New York.
By early 2000, Merrill Lynch's 401(k) clients will be able to offer a customized version of the new Global Investor Network, now available to retail investors.
The cutting edge Web-cast technology features investment news, research and commentary from Merrill Lynch analysts and economists from around the globe. The network features the Morning Call Report, a summary of key analyst reports issued before the start of trading; analyst highlights, a video research report on a specific company; Mutual Funds Update, which will spotlight mutual fund managers; and Street Beat, offering market trend analysis.
Veteran newscaster Bill Hartley, former anchor of CNBC Asia in Hong Kong, anchors the Web-cast news. Bob Plunkett, formerly a Fox News reporter, conducts most of the on-camera interviews. Cameras are trained on analysts in Hong Kong; New York; London; Frankfurt, Germany; and Princeton, N.J. Lights and cameras will be turned on soon in Tokyo; Singapore; Madrid, Spain; Mexico City; Sydney, Australia; Boston; and San Francisco.
A free 30-day trial is available at askmerrill.com. The audio and video rely on Real Player G-2, free software from RealNetworks Inc., Seattle, that can be downloaded off the Web.