Saturday, January 29, 2011

Interactive Content, Take Two - ABC Tries Again

A big argument, when watching sports on TV has been the amount of clutter filling the screen. Banners, bugs, pop ups, and often meaningless data meant to divert our attention form the action on the field. And sometimes, the statistics aren't what we want, when we want it. So what does work. Well with the rise of tablets and smartphones, incremental and interactive info can be shared concurrently with the action.

I haven't seen it offered yet with sports programming, but ABC keeps trying interactivity with its own TV series. The first was the show My Generation, but as it was not highly watched, it was lost on the radar. In this second attempt, a ratings winner will be used, Grey's Anatomy. Using a technology called Sync, the action on screen matches the interactive application on the iPad. "Sync is able to time content to a TV broadcast via Nielsen’s Media-Sync Platform, which allows mobile apps to automatically detect and synchronize with TV programming using audio watermarks. Programmers like ABC have been experimenting with all sorts of interactive-TV strategies for years in hopes of increasing viewer engagement and opening up new advertising opportunities."

I like where this is going. I would love to see this application tied to sporting events. The Super Bowl is a week away. An interactive iPad app tied to the on screen action would be a huge win. So much potential.