Interactive TV News Round-Up (VI): Rogue Paper, Sky, Viaccess, Orca Interactive, zeebox

--Rogue Paper's White-Label Second-Screen Platform Launches Content and Advertising Synchronization
--Report: Sky's New Formula 1 Channel to Offer Extensive Interactive TV Features
--Viaccess, Orca Interactive to Demo Multiscreen Solutions at Mobile World Congress
--zeebox Hosts Second-Screen TV Event at Pinewood Studios

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.

  • Rogue Paper, which offers a second-screen companion-app development platform, called TV Tune-In, for media companies (note: the company's customers include MTV, whose WatchWith app is based on the platform--see the article published on itvt.com, January 30th, 2011), said Tuesday that it has released new "Content Sync" and "Advertising Sync" functionality for the platform. "Rogue Paper's TV Tune-In platform allows users a second-screen experience for a number of popular TV programs, sporting events and channels, to interact and comment with each other during live and time-shifted broadcasts," the company states in its press materials. "TV Tune-In is rolling out the latest update to its second-screen platform that allows networks to synchronize exclusive content, a featured called Content Sync, to shows as viewers are watching. Content Sync will display interactive polls, quizzes, behind-the-scenes videos and more, perfectly timed and in sync with what's happening on the screen. This is being extended to other forms of content such as synchronized broadcast television advertising, making broadcast television ads interactive." Said Rogue Paper CEO, Stephanie Boyle: "The global market for broadcast advertising is over $160 billion and broadcast advertising is still the core business of media companies. It is important for us at Rogue Paper to provide tools for networks to engage and delight users in their second-screen experience. Adding new ways to connect with viewers brings eyeballs back to the primary screen, the television, and is a great advantage for our broadcast partners to deliver on interactive broadcast television advertising."
  • Sky is said to be planning a range of interactive TV features for its new Formula 1 channel, Sky Sports F1 HD, which is set to launch next month. According to a report on T3.com, the channel will allow users to press red to access supplemental data on races covered and to switch between nine simultaneous video streams, and will also feature an iPad app that will allow viewers to switch between on-board cameras via a four-way multiscreen. "We think the interactive service will reinvent interactive television in a way that we haven't seen for a long, long time," the new channel's executive producer, Martin Turner, told T3.com. "The most powerful and interactive use of the red button in the last few years has not been to show different angles and cameras, it's been to show you a different game. What we are going to do is take Formula 1 as a sport and offer different ways of seeing it, be it by on-board cameras or with the data tracker that tells you where the cars are."
  • Content-protection specialist, Viaccess, and its IPTV subsidiary, Orca Interactive, contacted [itvt] Tuesday to let us know about their exhibit plans for the upcoming Mobile World Congress (February 28th-March 1st, Barcelona). "By proposing [a] full, in-house, end-to-end TV Everywhere solution, Viaccess and Orca allow operators to address the challenges of content delivery and protection, rights management, rich user experience, and introduction of new applications in modern TV multiscreen environment," the companies state in their press materials. "Operators offering premium video content on all connected devices (smartphones, tablets, PC and TV sets) will benefit from fast time to service introduction and the opportunity to maximize revenues. The operators' ability to offer premium TV and video content will increase customer stickiness across a variety of screens. Visitors at the Viaccess and Orca Interactive booth (Hall 2.0 - stand 2B69) will be able to see: 1) A unified service delivery platform enabling a consistent and persistent end-user experience. 2) A content discovery and recommendations platform allowing TV operators the unique possibilities of personalizing each of their users' TV experiences and ensuring the best return-on-investment for content service providers. 3) Companion device applications for both Android and iOS based smartphones and tablets allowing users to manage, enhance and personalize their TV experience from a second screen.
  • zeebox, the second-screen social-TV company that was co-founded by former BBC iPlayer chief, Anthony Rose, is hosting an event on "augmented TV" today at Pinewood Studios, near London. According to the company, the event--which it says explores "the implications of the second screen for broadcasters and production companies alike"--will bring together around 150 executives. "zeebox will showcase its next-generation 'Showtime' tools for broadcasters and program makers, using recent trials with Channel 4 and Sky as case studies," the company states in its press materials. "In addition, the event will feature live demonstrations of program enhancements created inside zeebox by leading second-screen technology providers BT Agilemedia, Ex Machina, IMImobile, Monterosa, Visiware, MIG and Tellybug. Showtime is a simple toolkit that allows broadcasters and program-makers to publish show-specific content through zeebox. When the show starts, users automatically see the normal zeebox content plus premium features delivered by the broadcaster. Showtime is designed to make efficient use of content already created by the show's rights-holder: fan pages, cast bios, backstage videos, custom Twitter streams, interactive widgets, etc...Since launching in October 2011, zeebox has led innovation in the market of social-TV apps, uniquely enabling consumers to discover TV content through their extended social graph, to follow their favorite celebrities' TV viewing, and to automatically get more information about the programs they're watching. zeebox knows what consumers are watching, and engages them with relevant content and ecommerce opportunities in sync with live TV." Said zeebox CTO, Anthony Rose: "The future of broadcast TV is about synchronicity between the TV and the second screen. zeebox's platform connects TV context with users and content owners, enabling a deeper connection between broadcast TV and its fans."
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