iPowow, a leading participation TV company based in Santa Monica, California, counts A&E and USA Network among its clients. In October, we wrote about how iPowow was working with USA to redefine the notion of syndication. The network had acquired the rights to broadcast Modern Family in syndication, and iPowow was helping to power Modern Family Live, which allowed fans to use second screen devices to participate in polls and quizzes while watching the episodes.
Two months ago, iPowow partnered with Red Bull Media House to create a social fan participation element for the FC Bayern München vs FC Red Bull Salzburg game, which aired on Red Bull Media House’s ServusTV. Fans were prompted to use computers or mobile devices to respond to questions displayed on-air during the telecast and to express their opinions about what was taking place during the game. The results were displayed in real-time both on the users’ devices and on TV.
Based on the success of the soccer partnerships, iPowow and Red Bull Media House have expanded their partnership to hockey, and have begun integrating participation TV elements into DEL (a German hockey league) games broadcast on Servus TV. Fans are able to choose the “Man of the Match” for games broadcast on Sundays, and much like NBA TV’s ‘Fan Night,’ fans are able to vote for the game that is broadcast the following week.
“Red Bull Media House has been a valuable partner. Their vision for how to engage their fans and enhance the experience for the viewer has been revolutionary,” said Gavin Douglas, Chief Commercial Officer of iPowow. “The key to a successful execution relies on how well you can include the fan in the story and enhance the viewing experience.”
It is inevitable that participation TV elements similar to what Red Bull Media House and iPowow are executing will be part of U.S. sports telecasts in the not-so-distant future. Sports fans are already the most engaged second screen users, and the increase in app downloads, their use, and additional revenue streams are already on the minds of network executives.
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