DISH Network Says its Olympics ITV Apps Proved Popular with Viewers
--Apps Accessed by over 41% of Operator's Subscriber Base --DISH Network Signs VOD Deal with Sony Pictures Television US satellite TV provider, DISH Network, offered two interactive TV applications to enhance NBC Universal's coverage of the Beijing Olympics: a multiscreen mosaic and an "NBC Olympics Showcase" app.
During the Olympics, the multiscreen mosaic that is a regular feature of the company's DishHOME ITV portal (note: the portal also offers over 25 applications, as well as interactive advertising) presented viewers with simultaneous feeds from six NBCU channels: CNBC, MSNBC, Oxygen, USA Network and two channels dedicated to Olympic highlights. Viewers could watch all six screens at once or select one of the feeds to watch in full-screen mode. "DISH Network's ITV mosaic is an excellent platform to showcase NBCU's coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games by giving customers a unique viewing experience that allows them to watch four live events and two highlight channels or select one channel for full-screen viewing," DISH Network EVP, Michael Kelly, said in a prepared statement. "The mosaic is an important component of DISH Network's more than 25 existing ITV channels--the most offered by any pay-TV provider in the US--and serves as a great option for fans of NBCU's 2008 Olympic Games coverage to follow their favorite events and athletes."
According to DISH Network, the ITV mosaic had over 40 million views and averaged over 1.5 million visitors per day during the Olympics, and 200 million minutes of content were viewed interactively. The "NBC Olympics Showcase," meanwhile, which was built by Portland, Oregon-based interactive TV authoring solutions provider, Ensequence, in partnership with NBCU, was also located on the DishHOME portal, and could additionally be accessed within programming on CNBC, MSNBC, USA Network and Oxygen. NBCU and DISH Network inserted interactive triggers within those channels' broadcasts to drive viewers to the app. The app allowed DISH subscribers to access athlete profiles, read breaking news, view video highlights of each day's events, track each country's medal counts, learn more about featured sponsors, learn more about Beijing and the various Olympics venues, and access reports on the USA Olympics team. "With interactive TV, our customers NBCU and DISH Network are enhancing their programming and advertising in powerful and effective ways, engaging viewers in a two-way dialogue, and increasing their advertising revenue--while also enjoying the same level of in-depth metrics and reporting they've come to expect from the Web," Ensequence president and COO, Peter Low, said in a prepared statement. According to DISH Network, its two interactive TV Olympics services were accessed by over 41% of its subscriber base.
In other DISH Network news: The company has signed an agreement with Sony Pictures Television that will see it offering the studio's standard- and high-definition movies and programming on its VOD platform, DISH On Demand, as well as on its pay-per-view services. In order to use DISH On Demand, subscribers need a DVR; they can then access the service either by pressing the "DVR" button on the DISH Network remote control or by selecting the "Entertainment" section of the DishHOME interactive TV portal. "DISH Network continues to enhance our ability to provide cost-effective, convenient platforms for our subscribers to enjoy the best HD and SD content in the industry," Andy Karofsky, DISH Network's VP of programming, said in a prepared statement. "With the increased interest in on-demand and pay-per-view services, we are pleased to reach an agreement with Sony Entertainment to provide more programming to our subscribers."