Round-Up of Recent Interactive TV News from DISH Network

--Fandango Application, Interactive TV Awards, and More

Last week, [itvt] reported that US satellite-TV provider, DISH Network, had recently teamed with Ensequence and History on an interactive TV application to enhance History's channel presence on the DISH Network platform. Here is a round-up of some other recent interactive TV-related news stories from DISH Network:
--Last month, the company launched a Fandango-branded application on its DishHome interactive TV portal (channel 100), that allows viewers to use their remotes to purchase movie tickets. The app, which is powered by OpenTV middleware, automatically uses viewers' zip codes to search for nearby movie-theater listings and show times (viewers can also search theater listings and show times outside the zip code associated with their set-top box). Viewers with phone lines (or, of course, broadband) connected to their set-top can then use their credit card to buy movie tickets at Fandango-enabled theaters through a secure connection. To redeem their tickets, they present their credit card at the movie theater as proof of purchase, and do not need to provide a confirmation code. "Once again, DISH Network is leading the pack in interactivity through our award-winning set-top boxes, and with the addition of applications like Fandango, we are creating new value for our subscribers," DISH Network EVP, Michael Kelly, said in a prepared statement. "Remote movie ticket purchasing via the set-top box is only the first step. In the future, we envision banner ads for upcoming titles, movie trailers and more for our interactive advertising clients." Added OpenTV's SVP of market development, Tracy Geist: "We are very excited to be powering DISH Network's set-top box-based movie ticket purchasing application for DISH Network and Fandango. This application further demonstrates the robustness of our middleware and the advanced capabilities it can offer in launching innovative and value-added interactive services." According to DISH Network, it now has over 20 million ITV-enabled set-top boxes in the field. Its ITV service consists of around 30 interactive channels, the DishGames interactive TV games service, a selectable six-channel mosaic on DishHome, and various other games and applications.
--In February, the company announced the winners of its 2009 Interactive Television Summit Awards, which are intended to honor companies that provide ITV applications and services for its platform. The awards, now in their 8th year, were presented at a ceremony at DISH Network's annual ITV Summit, which the company bills as bringing together interactive developers to learn about and discuss "collaborative opportunities" on its platform. "This was a remarkable year for ITV and our annual Summit serves as an excellent way to celebrate our successes and discuss new opportunities," Scott Higgins, DISH Network's longtime director of ITV, said in a prepared statement. "Whether it's growing our Ad Sales unit, launching targeted interactive marketing campaigns for our clients, or adding new, innovative games and services to our platform, ITV continues to expand at an amazing rate." The awards for Developer of the Year and for Best New Application went to BIAP (for "DISH Decision 2008," an application that offered information about federal and state elections); the awards for Best Game Developer and Best in Marketing went to Oberon Media; the award for Best New Technology went to OpenTV; the award for Best iAd went to Brightline; and the award for Best Special Event went to Ensequence and NBC Universal (for the 2008 Olympic Games application, which offered daily updates on medal counts and athlete bios and which DISH says was used by over 41% of its subscribers).
--In January, the company offered interactive coverage of President Obama's inauguration. Viewers who tuned into the DishHome portal could use their remotes to navigate between and select from a mosaic of feeds from six 24-hour news channels: CNN, Fox, MSNBC, CNN Headline News, C-SPAN and CSPN2.


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