Interactive TV News Round-Up (II): CTAM, Samsung, Fashion TV, Shazam, Syfy, E! USA Network

Leonard Maltin on Movies On Demand, January 2012

--Multiple Oscar Winners and Nominees to Be Featured on Cable VOD during Academy Awards Run-Up
--Samsung in European Connected-TV Deal with Fashion TV
--Shazam Brings ACR-Powered Interactivity to Shows on Syfy, E!, USA Network

Due to the large volume of news generated by the recent 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us several more days to process all the news from the show: 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.

  • As part of its Movies on Demand VOD-marketing initiative, CTAM's Marketing Co-Op has announced the line-up of Oscar-nominated films that will be available on cable VOD platforms in the run-up to the February 26th Academy Awards. "The following films received a nomination in at least one of the Academy's 24 categories and are either currently available or coming soon, to digital cable customers through Movies on Demand," CTAM states in its press materials. "'Anonymous' (avail. 2.7.12), 'Beginners,' 'A Better Life' (avail. 2.1.12), 'Bridesmaids,' 'Drive' (avail. 1.31.12), 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,' 'Hell and Back Again,' 'The Help,' 'The Ides of March,' 'Kung Fu Panda 2,' 'Midnight in Paris,' 'Moneyball,' 'Real Steel,' 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes,' 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'The Tree of Life,' 'Warrior.' Movie buffs can also discover or relive the best of the best in cinematic history with past Oscar-winning movies, which are among hundreds of films offered currently on Movies on Demand on cable. They include: 'American Beauty,' 'As Good As It Gets,' 'The Blind Side,' 'Crash,' 'Crazy Heart,' 'The Departed,' 'Erin Brockovich,' 'Mary Poppins,' 'Million Dollar Baby,' 'The Pianist,' 'Slumdog Millionaire,' 'Walk The Line.'" Cable MSO's participating in the Movies on Demand initiative include Armstrong, Atlantic Broadband, BendBroadband, Bright House Networks, Comcast, Cox Communications, Insight, iO TV (Cablevision), Mediacom, Suddenlink and Time Warner Cable. Participating studios include 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Relativity, Sony/Columbia, Summit Entertainment, The Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. The initiative is also supported by cable-backed VOD distribution services company, iN Demand.
  • Samsung's European arm has announced a partnership with Fashion TV that brings the latter's programming to its connected-TV platform. "Viewers can access a wealth of content at the touch of button to watch live streams of fashion shows and photo shoots while also being able to access Fashion TV's exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of models and designers," Samsung states in its press materials. "For four months, the Fashion TV app will be exclusive to Samsung Smart TV and will showcase the best that the fashion world has to offer. For advertisers keen on engaging a fashion-focused audience, the service provides an opportunity for ad-funded content to be displayed during programming. This will be organized by Smart Clip, the European leader for video advertising, to deliver relevant advertising direct to viewers...Fashion TV is available in English throughout Europe and joins an ever-growing stable of services providing video on-demand and live streaming for news, entertainment and business." Said Fashion TV director, Alona Fischbein: "This partnership brings Fashion TV to a wider audience throughout Europe thanks to Samsung's continued success in smart TV. As more people seek out new ways of watching TV, we are delighted to have worked with LiveDefinition who created this service to allow viewers and advertisers new ways to engage with our brand."
  • Audio-based automatic content recognition (ACR) specialist, Shazam (note: the London-based company is best known for offering a mobile application that consumers can use to identify music, as well as unlock supplemental content associated with TV shows--a process it calls "tagging"), said Friday that the entire second season of the Syfy show, "Being Human," will integrate its Shazam for TV ACR-based second-screen interactive TV platform. In addition, the company says, two other NBC Universal Cable Entertainment shows--E!'s "The Soup" and USA Network's "Psych"--will incorporate Shazam for TV into special episodes that will air in the coming weeks. The second-screen interactive experiences are being sponsored by Lexus, and give viewers a chance to win trips for two to each of the three shows' locations. "The NBC Universal Cable Entertainment shows have extended their programming via the Shazam App to the second screen--the mobile device--giving their viewers an exciting new way to experience more about the programs and gain access to exclusive content and offers, including information about Lexus' all-new GS sports sedan," Shazam states in its press materials. "Fans use the Shazam App with a single touch of a button to automatically identify in seconds which show and episode they are watching, and instantly unlock additional scenes, bloopers and photos from the shows, download wallpaper for their phone and share their discovery on Facebook and Twitter. Fans can also purchase merchandise of selected shows to express themselves through clothing and other items from the shows they love. 1) 'Being Human' (Syfy)--The second season of Syfy's hit original series, which premiered on Monday, January 16th, incorporates Shazam for TV. When people use Shazam while watching the show, they can see exclusive scenes from the next week's episode, a track list of the songs featured in that night's episode and wallpaper for their device. Additionally, Lexus is sponsoring a sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip for two to Boston, where the show is set. Being Human's second season premiere rose 14 percent among adults 25-54 compared to the season one debut. 2) 'Psych' (USA)--Fan favorite, 'Psych,' returns to complete its winter season on Leap Day, February 29 at 10/9c, with this episode plus March 7, both Shazam-enabled, letting people watch show bloopers, browse a photo gallery of stars James Roday and Dule Hill, and download wallpaper. They can also shop for merchandise featured on the show. A chance to win a trip for two to the show's setting of Santa Barbara will be the Lexus feature sweepstakes for this program. In 2011, 'Psych' delivered more P18-49 (2.31 million) and P18-34 (1.22 million) Live+7 viewers than ever before in its five-year run. 3) 'The Soup' (E!)--Shazam-enabled episodes on February 29 and March 7 at 10:00PM EST and PST will give people links to exclusive clips from 'The Soup.' When people use Shazam to tag the show, they can enter for a chance to win a trip for two to Los Angeles where they will go to a taping of 'The Soup,' sponsored by Lexus."
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