Network Ten to open TV chat rooms

Channel Ten is the first network to sign with zeebox second screen technology to develop network rooms for fans to chat live with on-screen talent.

The announcement:

Sydney, Australia, 28th June 2013: zeebox, the second screen technology leader and universal TV-watching companion, today announced the official launch of zeebox TV Rooms, a completely new approach to second screen viewing that will impact the way fans interact, engage, individualize and experience TV.

The new approach will also alter the way brands, advertisers and partners engage with fans. zeebox TV Rooms are a user-driven community for passionate TV fans to share experiences and thoughts with fellow fans in virtual rooms they create or join that are specific to shows, characters, themes and more.

While TV Rooms are largely fan-driven, Network Ten is the first network to set up an official networksponsored zeebox TV Room. On Saturday, June 29, rugby fans will be able to “Ask the Ref” in The Official Ten Wallabies vs. Lions Room during the live coverage of The British & Irish Lions test match.

Following this, on Wednesday, 3rd July, fans will be able to chat live with the behind the scenes team that bring us Offspring in The Official Offspring Room. Fans will be able to get all the gossip on what it takes to create a show like Offspring and even some hints on what will be coming up in the rest of the season.

Network Ten’s Chief Digital Officer, Rebekah Horne, comments: “Network Ten is committed to giving people engaging and contextually relevant experiences wherever they are.

“The concept of connecting audiences through their shared interests, enabling them to talk in real time about their favourite shows, really starts to deliver on the promise of social TV.

“For advertisers, zeebox TV rooms’ power is in the combination of audience reach through television, and the interactivity and measurability of digital in a moment when people are leaning forward.”

Craig Blair CEO of zeebox Australia added: “TV rooms are an exciting new extension of the zeebox platform where viewers can have conversation around their favourite shows before, during and after the live show.

“Importantly, these discussions are contextual to the show and can be enriched through rich media, UGC and social sharing. Our moderation tools will allow our Network Partners to launch and monetise their own TV rooms and we are excited that Network Ten are innovating by embracing this new feature with the Offspring and Lions Tour TV rooms.

“We recently hit 500,000 downloads and we expect that the virality of TV rooms will accelerate downloads and increase app session time beyond the current 45 minutes”.

Also available in each TV Room is a program schedule featuring shows that are tied to the show or theme of each TV Room. For example, in the “I LOVE reality” TV Room, the populated shows list will let viewers easily book to watch their favourite reality shows no matter what channel they are on.

Users and room hosts can post rich media/video experiences, external links, viewable live show clips and more. Live, contextual “zeetags” appear alongside the room as characters, products and other pertinent information appear in the show, giving viewers an immediate link to learn more and drive topical discussions.At launch, the app features more than 2,000 TV Rooms across shows within the 7 day viewing schedule, as well as 25 themed TV Rooms ranging from “The Renovation Room” to “Popcorn Squad.” Some media commentators have already started their own rooms such as the Molks TV Lounge. The Top 50 Rooms will be highlighted every week and ranked based on activity (likes, comments, shares) and members currently joining.

The TV Rooms feature is available for iOS & android devices as well as via the website and is accessible within the menu tabs of the zeebox app. Starting a TV Room is easy and requires four quick steps, very similar to beginning a social media account. From there, ‘TV Room Owners’ can invite friends to the room, post conversation starters, like/comment on posts and share the room via social networks and email.

zeebox is available as a free download through iTunes, Google Play and zeebox.com

Source: Channel Ten press release

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