Finnish Hockey Fans Get Social with MTV3 and Never.no Interactivity Suite
As one of the largest commercial broadcasters in Finland, it’s about time MTV3 taps into social media platforms like Facebook (News - Alert) and Twitter, and the company is doing just that. MTV3 recently announced its plans to engage with social media technology company never.no to help the channel incorporate social media content into its hockey broadcasts.
never.no’s Interactivity Suite (IS) was used during the 2012 IIHF hockey matches, which wrapped on May 20th. The framework allowed MTV3 producers to monitor Twitter (News - Alert) hashtags (#) and conversations on the station’s Facebook page. This helps to create a real-time environment which in turn gets hockey fans more involved in what they are already talking about on multiple social platforms. In a way it’s as if MTV3 is finally joining the conversation—the head of MTV3’s consumer interaction business, Jaron Milner said, “Sport fans often carry on a running commentary through social media while watching a game. The Interactivity Suite enables us to tap into that commentary.”
The IS works as a connector between television and other media outlets in order to fully support the newer realms of interactive broadcasting and social TV. Viewers are able to synchronize their devices, such as iPads, tablets, PCs and smartphones, to websites and apps created specifically for them, the hockey fans.
CEO of never.no, Lars Lauritzsen explains that IS is “an example of how sports broadcasters of all kinds can take advantage of Social TV to increase fan engagement and drive viewer loyalty.” According to their website, never.no’s IS works to unify fragmented media technologies for better content and streamlined workflow. The framework enables end-to-end Social TV, as well as synchronized companion apps and participation TV, all implied by their popular tagline “TV. Mobile. Social. 1FRAMEWORK.”
Milner believes the technology will add value to our broadcasts. “Now we can find and filter viewer comments and absorb them into our broadcast quickly and efficiently, which helps spark lively conversation about the games as they’re happening.”
The IS contains four basic features which work together to accomplish this seamless interaction: Dynamic Content Scheduler (DCS), Synchronized Companion App Framework (SCAF), Auto Dialog System (ADS), and Interactivity Desk (ID). The ADS has a Java-based plug-in architecture which makes integration with third-party systems easy, while the ID enables producers, campaign managers, or studio hosts to manage all forms of viewer-contributed data. ID also lets editors moderate content for better incorporation into their program.
The SCAF is the latest feature of the IS; it allows the development of applications, a defining aspect of never.no’s overall mission. The company’s website states that now “tablets, smartphones, and PCs become perfect peripherals for social TV, participation TV, and the ultimate two-screen experience.”
With IS, never.no offers an easy-to-use user interface enabling the collection and application of user content from around the Web from a simple online control panel, with no need for code or other technological hurdles. MTV3 has joined BBC, CBC, MBC and others in using this technology to create a more immersive viewer experience, and Finnish hockey fans were the first to benefit from the move.
Edited by Brooke Neuman