Interactive TV News Round-Up (I) By Steve Donohue

--Bravo to Add Multiple Interactive and "Transmedia" Elements to "Top Chef"
--CBS Launches "Tweet Week"
--mgMedia in Connected-TV Apps Deal with LG Electronics
--Studios' Premium VOD Plans May Have Little Impact on Theaters
--Mobile Interactive Group Integrates its Interactive TV Platform with Facebook

Here is the first of two round-ups of recent interactive TV news stories:

  • Billing it as its "first fully-integrated transmedia play," NBC Universal's Bravo is looking to boost revenue and ratings by adding several interactive elements to its "Top Chef" series. Season nine of the reality show will rely on mobile phones, tablet computers, social media, and Bravo's Web site to incorporate viewers into the storyline. More.
  • CBS is recruiting actors, sports personalities and musicians to live-tweet during its first "CBS Tweet Week," which kicked off Sunday, and runs through April 11. You can search Twitter for the #CBSTweetWeek hashtag to see how CBS talent and viewers are responding to the programming stunt. More.
  • It may be difficult for most industry observers to envision the number of applications developed for connected TVs that compete with the volume and quality of apps developers are building for the iPhone, Android devices and other smart phones. But mgMedia made a bold prediction in announcing a deal to build apps for connected TVs from LG, noting that the CE manufacturer will launch new apps in the next few months "which will soon be able to compete in variety and utility with the already famous smartphone applications." More.
  • Movie theater owners are steamed at a plan by Hollywood studios to sell new movies through video-on-demand platforms from Comcast, DirecTV and other pay-TV providers for $30 apiece 60 days after their theatrical release. But some analysts say the strategy from Warner Bros., Universal, Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox will have little impact since 97 percent of box office revenue is generated within the first two months of a release. More.
  • Programmers will be able to charge Facebook subscribers if they want to vote for their favorite contestants in reality shows or enter a sweepstakes, thanks to a deal Mobile Interactive Group has struck with Facebook. MIG said it integrated its interactive broadcast platform with the top social network, allowing viewers use Facebook Credits to participate in real-time votes, polls, and competitions. BSkyB's "Got to Dance" show already uses MIG's platform to allow viewers to vote via apps on mobile phones. More.
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North America