Super Bowl Sets New Records for Viewing and Social Activity

Early numbers indicate that last night’s Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers broadcast on CBS set new records for number of TV viewers and amount of social activity on Facebook and Twitter. Interestingly, the two events that triggered the greatest number of Tweets did not involve the teams or players, but rather Beyonce’s halftime show and the partial blackout during the third quarter. Continue reading Super Bowl Sets New Records for Viewing and Social Activity

CES 2013: Verizon and NFL Eye 2014 LTE-Based Super Bowl

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell joined Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam during his keynote Tuesday to emphasize the company’s vision for the future of broadcasting over LTE and the league’s desire to accelerate its adoption of connected devices. The two discussed the power of the connected stadium, while McAdam stated his goal of broadcasting the Super Bowl live over Verizon’s LTE network in 2014. Continue reading CES 2013: Verizon and NFL Eye 2014 LTE-Based Super Bowl

CES 2013: Verizon Looks for Powerful Answers to Global Issues

Wireless has revolutionized the world, and now it’s going to take a shot at saving it. Verizon is launching a $10 million competition to find enlightened solutions to formidable global challenges. Called the Powerful Answers Award, it will be a yearlong challenge to top thinkers in technology to develop cloud-based, wireless or even wireline solutions for issues in education, healthcare and sustainability. Continue reading CES 2013: Verizon Looks for Powerful Answers to Global Issues

Will Cable Operators Switch to A La Carte or Will Programmers Resist?

  • The weak economy is leading cable operators to reverse their opposition to so-called “a la carte” programming. Comcast and Time Warner have lost 1.2 million customers in the last 12 months.
  • Programming costs have risen 6-10 percent annually over the last decade. And the fear is that it will continue as they see ESPN, for example, sign a $15 billion, 8-year deal with the NFL. Cable and satellite operators are also now paying to retransmit local broadcast channels.
  • “There is a growing recognition that the current model is broken,” says Craig Moffett, cable analyst at Bernstein Research. He expects smaller, less costly programming packages to emerge as Time Warner is doing with its TV Essentials pack.
  • “The specter of unbundled programming is likely to encounter fierce resistance from network owners such as Viacom Inc or Discovery Communications Inc, which are keen to maintain the economics of selling their most popular channels as a package with their smaller, nascent networks,” reports Reuters.

ESPN: Monday Night Football Extension includes 3D Broadcast Rights

  • ESPN has announced an eight-year extension of “Monday Night Football” that includes 3D broadcast rights, expanded NFL studio programming, highlight rights for TV and, continued Spanish language rights, the Pro Bowl, the NFL Draft,  and rights to simulcast network coverage on tablet devices through the WatchESPN app.
  • The deal, which runs from 2014 to 2021, “should help quell ideas that ESPN 3D might be axed after its removal from U-verse,” suggests Engadget.
  • According to the press release: “The extensive package of NFL rights will fuel the continued growth of ESPN year-round, boosting its core television business while at the same time supporting the company’s ‘best available screen’ strategy with NFL programs on TV, online and on mobile devices via authentication and digital rights.”
  • The agreement will also lead to “Monday Night Football” celebrating its 50th anniversary season on ESPN in 2020.

Do NFL Fans Really Want to Read Tweets During Game Broadcasts?

  • The New York Giants claim to be the first NFL team to introduce live, realtime Twitter updates into broadcast TV coverage.
  • The team will display fans’ tweets during games via video boards and digital displays at Giants stadium, while fans watching at home will see realtime Twitter updates as part of the game’s graphics.
  • The Giants are collaborating with Mass Relevance, the firm that will aggregate and deliver the Twitter posts to the in-stadium displays, TV broadcasts and website.
  • I saw this feature this week during NBC’s coverage of the Giants-Jets game. I found it to be an unnecessary distraction that occasionally obstructed my view and I didn’t read a single tweet that added value to my viewing experience. When I first submitted this story, I commented: “Based on my experience during last night’s game, this is my question: Who can I pay to make this go away?”
  • However, I understand why this may become popular. Perhaps the concept would be better served by delivering only to those fans actively seeking social interaction.

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