Interactive TV News Round-Up (I): Television Academy, Emmys, TVplus, Ustream, BigLook360

--Television Academy Taps ACR Company, TVplus, to Power iPad Companion Experience for Emmys Telecast
--Academy Will Also Offer iPhone App, Ustream-Powered Companion Show for the Telecast
--BigLook360 to Power Live Interactive Video Coverage of Emmys Red Carpet for People Magazine

Due to the large volume of news generated by the IFA, IBC and CEDIA trade shows--and because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011--we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us a few more days to catch up with all the recent news: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us.

  • The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences plans to use TVplus's automatic content recognition (ACR) app to enable an interactive companion experience on the iPad, for Sunday's live telecast of the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards (airs on Fox, 8:00PM ET/5:00PM PT). "The TVplus application tunes-in to the audio of the broadcast, and within seconds recognizes and syncs the iPad to the exact moment within the Primetime Emmy Awards telecast," the Television Academy explains in its press materials. "The platform then delivers content related to each moment of the awards, including actor bios, fashion information, exclusive videos, red carpet photo galleries, award show trivia, behind-the-scenes news and much more! Further, the platform aggregates the social media activity around the Emmys telecast in one centralized environment, delivering up-to-the-minute news and viewer reactions for every moment of the show. The TVplus app is free for the iPad and available now in the iTunes store. Users just need to download the application on their iPad device, tune-in to the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards and the app will sync automatically." Said TVplus CEO, Ajay Shah: "We're excited to be partnering with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the 63rd Primetime Emmys this Sunday. TVplus and the Academy will deliver a ground-breaking viewer experience like never before, and this event marks a pivotal transition in television that will change the way viewers interact with programming in the future."
  • In related news: 1) The Television Academy is also offering an iPhone app that it says will "give users the opportunity to get additional information, photos and videos from this year's telecast. Users will be able to watch the exclusive 'Backstage Live' show [see below], view information for every nominee and winner from the past 62 Emmy telecasts, check out photos and video from other Television Academy events including the Emmy Nominations, Creative Arts Awards, Television Academy Honors Hall of Fame Ceremony, connect to the Academy's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages, as well as receive up-to-date news and information about Television Academy events," the Academy's press materials continue. 2) The Academy will once again offer the Ustream-powered online companion show, " Backstage Live," during the Emmys telecast. The show will be available both at and at "10 cameras positioned in various areas backstage at the Primetime Emmys telecast will provide viewers at home with the added experience of watching all the exciting moments that aren't covered on the broadcast," the Academy states in its press materials. "This will include live streaming of television's biggest stars as they enter and exit the stage, mingle in the greenroom with their fellow nominees, collect their Emmy statuettes, conduct interviews in the press room, relax in the exclusive Winners Lounge and continue their speeches at the backstage 'Thank You Cam.' Additionally, there will be a camera dedicated to following Jane Lynch and her team of writers as they work on her comedic remarks and host segments throughout the course of the show. A new feature to the ' Backstage Live' show this year is the addition of host and comedian Michael Kosta ('Comedy Central Presents,' 'The Tonight Show'). Michael will be stationed in the control room, highlighting and offering his unique commentary on everything that is going on throughout the show and backstage. Renowned specials and documentary director, Bob McKinnon, has been brought on as the executive producer for 'Backstage Live.' McKinnon is a seasoned veteran of award shows, having directed some of the biggest televised ceremonies including the Academy of Country Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and the Miss USA Pageant, as well as red carpet specials for the Academy Awards and NASCAR Hall of Fame."
  • In addition, BigLook360, a Dallas-based provider of immersive/360-degree interactive video solutions, has announced that it will provide exclusive, free, live interactive video coverage of the Primetime Emmys red carpet for People magazine. "BigLook360 will provide up-close and personal views of celebrities as they walk along the red carpet that leads to the legendary Nokia Theater in Los Angeles," the company states in its press materials. "Viewers can go to to access this free live stream, which will allow them to direct their own views in a full 360-degree range of motion, all by using the mouse to click-and-drag their cursor to see who and what they want, when they want--just as if they were standing right there on the red carpet." Said BigLook360 founder and CEO, Lance Loesberg: "We are excited to bring television fans exclusive access to what happens on the red carpet at the Emmys. Our 360 video production will give millions of viewers at home the ability to follow their favorite stars as they walk the red carpet, with the viewer in total control of the angle they see. The 360 streaming video is a perfect companion to the live broadcast." Some examples of 360-degree videos that BigLook360 has produced for other events can be seen here.
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