Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): Comcast Media Center, Facebook, Viggle, Loyalize

--Comcast Media Center's HITS Unveils New Cloud-Based VOD Distribution Service
--CBS, CMT, "Daily Show," MSNBC, MTV News, "Today," GetGlue Launch Facebook Timeline Apps
--Function(x) (Viggle) Acquires Loyalize

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on The TV of Tomorrow Show 2012, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • Comcast Media Center's HITS operation has announced a new, cloud-based HITS On Demand content distribution network, which it says "makes thousands of titles from Comcast's content distribution platform available to third-party operators, without the need for them to upgrade their local storage...With the additional capacity of the CDN, operators can attract more viewers on existing VOD platforms and further monetize their on-demand investments," CMC's press materials continue. "In addition, the asset-based solution keeps subscribers using the cable infrastructure rather than turning to other options for long-tail content. Sophisticated algorithms in the CDN utilize centralized content hosting, edge caches and local VOD servers to maximize storage. The availability of large stores of content in a cloud-based environment allows cable operators to increase their on demand library without the need to add incremental local storage capacity. The HITS On Demand CDN supports today's widely deployed MPEG-2 set top boxes (STB's) bringing extensive on-demand content to subscribers' homes." CMC is showcasing the new solution in its booth (43) at the NCTC Winter Education Conference in Austin, TX this week.
  • In a posting on Facebook's blog last week, the company's director of media partnerships, Justin Osofsky, announced that a number of media players--including several television shows and networks, as well as social TV check-in company, GetGlue--have recently launched Facebook Timeline apps, enabling consumers to automatically share the videos they are watching online with their Facebook friends. The new Facebook Timeline partners include CBS Local (Los Angeles and New York), CMT, "The Daily Show,", MTV News and "The Today Show."
  • Function(x), the company that recently launched the rewards-based social-TV loyalty-program app, Viggle (see the article published on, January 19th), announced last week that it has acquired the assets and business of Loyalize, "a technology company that enables brands and content providers to engage with nationwide audiences during live TV shows. The company demonstrated the power of Loyalize's functionality during Sunday's broadcast of the Grammys," Function(x)'s press materials continue. "Viewers who checked into the show with Viggle were able to participate in 'Viggle Live,' a program of real-time polls and voting, giving them the opportunity to earn extra Viggle points that are redeemable for real rewards such as music, movie tickets and gift cards...In addition to enhancing the Viggle experience, Loyalize's innovative technology can be licensed as a white-label solution by brands and content providers looking to create new touch points with audiences of live sporting events, political debates, and more. Viggle first used Loyalize technology to create the 'Viggle Bowl,' a special event for Viggle users that gave fans who checked into the Super Bowl the opportunity to answer sports trivia questions and vote for their favorite commercials. More than 40% of all Viggle users participated in the event, demonstrating how in-app experiences can capture and hold the attention of audiences...Loyalize has enjoyed other successes, launching in December 'Fango,' a partnership with Yahoo!7 in Australia. Fango allows TV fans to have real-time interactive experiences with other viewers before, during and after a show. It also gives them access to a guide that illustrates viewing trends; the ability to earn awards like badges, points and leadership within the app for participating in activities; and access to videos, blogs and videos related to the show. These capabilities are further examples of how Loyalize technology can deliver interactive content on the second screen to enhance the TV viewing experience." Said Viggle president, Chris Stephenson: "78% of active Viggle users checked into the Grammys on Sunday night and 64% of this group played along with 'Viggle Live,' answering real-time questions, voting, and responding to polls related to the awards ceremony. Viewers engaged with Viggle for more than one hour and 20 minutes as we asked them questions about what was happening live onstage. Loyalize introduces a level of engagement unlike anything on the market."
North America