On the eve of NATPE, the programming conference where top TV execs come to buy and sell content, FOX and Uniliver have announced a global deal to launch Kiefer Sutherland’s new show “Touch” simultaneously around the world. The reason, according to Marion Edwards, president of international television for Twentieth Century Fox Film Distribution? “They can access episodes immediately after they air here. They can follow on Twitter. It’s all part of this huge informational universe where everyone feels very up to the moment.”
The historic TV deal that AdAge reported proves the power of social TV to change the traditional television business. Kiefer Sutherland will star in “Touch” in more than 100 countries, instead of a traditional US launch followed by a global rollout. “‘Touch,’ debuting March 19, features Mr. Sutherland as the father of an emotionally challenged 11-year-old boy who can predict events around the world.” Unilever will use this opportunity to market “Sure” in the UK and Degree in the US.
Sutherland is no stranger to the social web. Last year he joined Twitter, launched a high quality web series, The Confession (just released on DVD), and even presented at the Shorty Awards (the platform and ceremony I produce for top social media producers). This is a huge moment for the social TV world as programmers recognize that in a post-MegaVideo, BitTorrent crazed social web, borders don’t matter.
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