NBA Launches Two-Screen Interactive TV Application, "NBA TV Companion"
The National Basketball Association's (NBA) NBA Digital arm has launched a two-screen interactive TV application, called NBA TV Companion, that is available on NBA.com and on individual NBA team sites. According to NBA Digital, key features of the new application, which is designed to be used in conjunction with live game telecasts, include:
- "In-Arena Experience and Press Access": the app is designed to simulate the experience of being in an NBA arena press box, NBA digital says, by giving fans access to pre-game media notes, real-time statistical information, breaking news, 3D shot charts, and play-by-play analysis.
- Social media integration: the app is billed as integrating current social networking features, in order to allow users to interact with other fans, team personnel and on-air talent in real time. It allows users to access social networking sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Yahoo!, so that they can participate in private chats with their friends or live forum discussions with other fans, NBA Digital says.
- Halftime and post-game video highlights: every game will feature special halftime and post-game reports, NBA Digital says, that will include video highlight packages, updated box scores, leaderboards, and the ability to follow the action on the court via an interactive shot tracker feature which displays the location of each shot taken.
- "Team" and "Network" versions: NBA team sites will have team-specific versions of the app that will automatically become the default homepage when the team is playing a game, thus allowing fans to socialize and interact "in an environment specifically tailored around their favorite teams," NBA Digital says. Meanwhile, during nationally televised games on ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV, a "network" version of the app will be implemented on NBA.com with prominently displayed network graphics and tune-in messaging designed to drive viewership of the telecast.
In its promotional materials for NBA TV Companion, NBA Digital cites research from Nielsen Media Research that found that 57% of Americans with Internet access at home use the TV and the Internet simultaneously; that 27.9% of the time those Internet users spend online is simultaneously spent watching TV; and that Internet viewing has grown 12.4% over last year. "NBA TV Companion provides fans with a user-friendly experience to lean back and easily access information while enjoying the game on television," Bryan Perez, SVP and general manager of NBA Digital, said in a prepared statement. "We recognize the growing number of fans who simultaneously consume the NBA via television and the Internet, and this is the perfect broadcast companion for fans to experience all the action on the court, while connecting with friends on their preferred social network."