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Atlanta-based Nexidia has announced a new partnership with MSNBC today. The partnership will bring the Nexidia online video search technology to the MSNBC video site. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
It looks like Nexidia will integrate into the MSNBC video site providing search and the ability to search via tagging. The idea is to promote discovery and keep users within the MSNBC site longer by displaying videos meeting a user’s criteria. The more that MSNBC can match videos to a user’s needs, the more monetization it can grab from that user.
A year ago I reviewed the first episode of NBC tech drama Chuck. Overall the writers have done an excellent job in bringing in geek technology without making it appear fake. From dropping a wikipedia here and a router there, it’s a fun little show.
However in this week’s episode, a comment was made by Chuck’s sidekick Morgan that clearly had me wondering. I’ve embedded the clip below (30 seconds). Morgan (and clearly NBC as the creator of the show) didn’t get the memo from Diggnation founder Kevin Rose. You see Diggnation is sponsored by the Zune, the Microsoft music player. If Kevin and Revision3 are taking the $$ from Microsoft for the Zune, you know that it is a damn fine quality product and should not be joked with. Let’s hope that next week Chuck will check the current lineup of sponsors for Diggnation and properly handle them if the need arises inside of the episode.
NBC has announced their digital extensions for the TV shows on the NBC network. Earlier this year NBC pushed viewers of American Gladiators to the Web to watch the full events. Overall the options seem a bit disappointing and feel very agency-driven. Here are a few of the shows and their upcoming online components:
The Biggest Loser – In addition to the recently announced Biggest Loser League, fans will find extended versions of the elimination scenes, exclusive weekly bonus scenes, a new season of Alison McSweeny’s blog and recipes from Rocco deSpirito.
Chuck – NBC.com will premiere the Chuck webisodes this fall. Additionally, the site will feature an interactive social network experience for fans – Inside Buy More – which includes games, quizzes and career advice from Big Mike.
Deal or No Deal – The site features a weekly Beat the Banker interactive game as well as a new season of the snarky Banker Blog. (Allen: they would do better here to allow fans to interact with the models – blogs, live videos, etc.)
Knight Rider – Fans will be able to investigate the back stories of some of their favorite characters in the Knight Industries micro-site. Plus, a new behind-the-scenes production blog featuring the writing staff and Billy’s Blog will provide even more insight. Additionally, users will find an all-new KITT game and interactive Attack KITT and KITT cave.
The Office – It’s Dunder Mifflin Infinity 2.0! The social network will feature new branches, new tasks and new prizes. Additionally, the site will include a new Meredith blog, Angela and Andy’s wedding planning micro-site, a Serenity by Jan micro-site, ongoing updates to fan favorite the Quotes game and Office trivia, weekly deleted scenes and the second installment of webisodes slated for November.
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NBC has announced today their plan for exclusive and extensive online video and mobile coverage for the 2008 Bejing Olympics. Back in November, SAI reported on the total number of hours of online video that NBC would provide, 2,200 live hours and over 3,000 total hours of video. NBC is also partnering with Microsoft on their Silverlight technology and the player that NBC describes should be nothing short of amazing. News will appear on MSN and will combine some of the video footage as well.
NBC’s mobile lineup looks pretty slick as well. The mobile features are at the end of the list below. I am guessing that all of the content will be available in the U.S. only.
NBC is targeting three of the richest online advertising verticals: casual gaming, online video and mobile. Let’s just hope that NBC can handle the traffic and the loads – the Olympic coverage could prove a good test for all online video content creators.
Here are the other NBCOlympics.com features announced today:
VIDEO: NBCOlympics.com will provide approximately 2,200 hours of live streaming broadband coverage of Olympic competition where users can choose from up to 20 concurrent streams encompassing 25 Olympic sports. In addition, the site will offer more than 3,000 hours of on-demand access to full-event replays and extensive highlights, including daily recaps of key events, best-of montages, commentator analysis and athlete-specific clips. (By comparison, at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, NBC streamed two hours of live footage.)
The video player’s enhanced mode, powered by Microsoft’s Silverlight technology, will offer picture-in-picture, quad-screen functionality, a larger viewing area and an improved user experience.
REAL-TIME RESULTS: For all Olympic sports, NBCOlympics.com will present the most comprehensive results anywhere online, provide LIVE results as events are happening and offer statistical summaries, tournament draws and group standings.
PERSONALIZED TELEVISION AND ONLINE VIEWER’S GUIDE: This section, traditionally one of the most trafficked portions of the site during the Games, will be even more important to help navigate the expanded Olympic coverage across all the NBC Universal broadcast and digital platforms. NBCOlympics.com’s complete schedule for the NBCU broadcast and online coverage reflects the most up-to-date programming information as the television and online schedules are modified throughout the Games. Additionally, site visitors who enter their zip code will receive localized listings that reflect the exact programming available from their local NBC affiliate, including live streaming listings and digital affiliate channel locations for high-definition viewing on NBC Universal cable stations. Viewers will be able to sort the listings by sport, network, day and time, as well as search by keywords such as athlete, team or country.
EXPERTISE AND ANALYSIS: NBC’s Olympic commentators will provide video reviews and previews of competition, as well as insight into specific events, rules and athletes competing in the Games. In addition, NBCOlympics.com producers and writers, including Alan Abrahamson, widely considered the foremost Olympic writer, will be breaking news as well as writing columns, features and analysis. The Associated Press will serve as the primary source for recaps and previews of all the Olympic competition.
MEDAL TRACKER: An in-depth page presenting real-time medal standings, plus related content such as medal ceremonies, past medal standings searchable by country and sport, as well as links from the medal tracker to recaps and highlights of competition.
TEAM USA: Thorough coverage of the American athletes throughout the Beijing Games. Content includes results and medals, video introductions and daily events to watch.
ATHLETE PROFILES: NBCOlympics.com will present bios for all 10,500 athletes competing in Beijing, with unmatched depth of information and content around the American competitors, including Q&As, photo galleries, video clips, results and more.
COUNTRY PROFILES: Snapshots of all 205 participating nations include general data (e.g. population, location), plus Olympic histories and 2008 Olympic outlooks.
PHOTOS: NBCOlympics.com will use screen grabs from NBC Sports broadcasts as well as a full library of Getty and Associated Press images to offer multiple galleries and narrative slideshows across all Olympic sports.
DESTINATION BEIJING: A section dedicated to the host city and nation, featuring video features, photo galleries, written features, blogs and more, for users who want to learn more about the culture of China and the Olympic host city, Beijing.
INSIDE THIS SPORT: This is a feature that will give users everything they need to know about a specific sport including competition formats, scoring systems, rules, glossaries, historic timelines and venues.
BLOGS: More than a dozen Olympians are contributing personally shot, home-video style content to NBCOlympics.com as part of an “Olympic Insider” feature that offers insight into the athletes’ personalities and the sports they play. Installments include tours of residences, behind-the-scenes at training sessions, out-of-competition team outings and more. The “Olympic Insider” can be explored at www.nbcolympics.com/olympicinsider/index.html.
WIDGETS: NBCOlympics.com widgets allow users to stay up to date on the Beijing Olympics without leaving their personal homepages. Widgets include: top news, video & photos, athletes to watch, TV and online listings, medal trackers, results, schedules and local coverage.
TELEMUNDO: Telemundo.NBCOlympics.com offers Spanish-speaking viewers a destination for all things Olympics. The largest Spanish offering to date for NBC Olympics, the Telemundo section is a near clone of the English-language site featuring comprehensive coverage (news, video, photos) on key sports including medals, results, athletes and countries.
PRIMETIME COMPANION: A special application to enhance the primetime broadcast, offering video features, text and photos on competition airing in primetime highlighted by polling, chatting, trivia and more. This application will also offer the “Primetime Challenge,” a two-screen gaming application in which Olympic fans can play along as they watch NBC’s primetime broadcast. Users can compete for points in real-time, while playing against their friends and other fans, by predicting the outcome of live events, answering Olympic trivia and polls, playing Olympic-themed mini-games, and chatting with their friends about that night’s competition. The “Primetime Challenge” will be available for all 17 nights of NBC’s primetime coverage.
OLYMPIC QUICK PICK FANTASY GAME: The Olympic Quick Pick fantasy game will allow fantasy players and Olympic enthusiasts the opportunity to win prizes for participating while cheering on Olympic athletes. Visitors of NBCOlympics.com will be assigned five random athletes competing for a medal each day. Based on how those athletes finish in their medal events, users will earn fantasy points. Those that accumulate the most fantasy points both daily and over the course of the entire Olympics will win prizes.
OLYMPIC FLASH GAMES: Fans of diving, weightlifting, and archery can compete online in games designed to mimic Olympic competition.
OLYMPIC TRIVIA GAMES: Olympic fans will also be able to test their knowledge with NBCOlympics.com trivia games. Players will be able to compete against other Olympics fans, as well as challenge friends to beat their scores.
OLYMPIC ZONE: A total of 227 of the 232 (97%) NBC affiliated websites (including all top 100 markets) are participating in the 2008 Olympic Zone offering. Olympic Zone presents localized coverage of the Beijing Olympics directly from a user’s hometown NBC station. Track local athletes, watch video, slideshows and read blogs. Expanded features in 2008 include:
· Localized national video available via Olympic Zone Advanced Olympic Zone integration into NBCOlympics.com (more modules, contextual items such as local athlete tracker)
· Expanded localized content including national video fed into Olympic Zone
· Improved local athlete trackers with featured local athletes on the national site
· Widgets for placement on station and partner websites
· Local email alerts
NBC OLYMPICS MOBILE:
NBC Olympics Mobile presents the most ambitious major sporting event coverage ever delivered on mobile, providing Olympic fans with the best in news and video coverage – how they want it, wherever they want it. From breaking news to text and video alerts to live mobile TV broadcasts, NBC Olympics Mobile will be the mobile destination for Olympic fans.
MOBILE WEB: The NBC Olympics Mobile Web site will deliver the most comprehensive coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games available for mobile users. The NBC Olympics Mobile Web site currently includes live news, highlights and feature video, Team USA profiles, slideshow galleries, voting polls, alerts sign-up, and much more. And starting August 8, mobile users will be able to view live medal counts, detailed results & schedules, customizable TV & online listings, and all the top news and video from Beijing.
Users can access the NBC Olympics Mobile web site by going to http://mobile.nbcolympics.com on their mobile device’s Internet browser or by texting “OLYMPICS” to 51515.
ALERTS: NBC Olympics Mobile also provides alerts for every Olympic fan. Text and e-mail alerts are available for breaking news, top headlines for all Olympic sports, medal results, event previews, athlete alerts, and TV/live streaming schedule reminders. NBC Olympics Mobile will also provide free photo & video highlight alerts for top Olympic sports.
MOBILE VIDEO: NBC Olympics Mobile Video will provide highlights, daily news, and exclusive feature videos on-demand to mobile video users. Mobile video is available on the NBC Olympics Mobile Web site and on-deck with select mobile providers.
MOBILE TV: NBC Olympics Mobile will launch NBC Olympics 2Go, an all-new 24/7 mobile TV channel featuring the best of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. NBC Olympics 2Go will include complete event coverage from NBC, USA, MSNBC, and CNBC programming. With NBC Olympics 2Go, users will be able to featured and live event coverage while they are on-the-go!
For more information on NBC Olympics Mobile offerings, visit http://www.nbcolympics.com/mobile
NBC OLYMPICS ON THE GO: This free download-and-play service will allow users to watch NBC’s Olympics coverage at home or on the go. Once a viewer chooses the sports they want to watch, high quality video of the events will automatically download, as they become available, to Windows Media Center on their PCs or laptops running Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Ultimate. With “NBC Olympics On The Go,” powered by Wavexpress’ TVTonic, users will then be able to watch long-form full event coverage in up-to-HD quality whether they’re online or offline. Viewers looking for highlights of the top action from Beijing will be able to download those videos through the “NBC Direct” service.
In addition, users may also be able to download content to handheld devices via Amazon.com and Zune.
NBC OLYMPICS VIDEO ON DEMAND: Viewers will be able to access robust NBC Olympics video content on-demand from their home, both prior to and during the Games, through their cable, satellite, or telco television provider. Olympic fans will be able to gear up for Beijing with NBC Olympics pre-games content, with recaps from Athens, previews of Beijing, and profiles of Team USA. And during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, NBC Olympics will provide daily highlights and long-form coverage of the best action from Beijing — including exclusive HD features. NBC Olympics Video On Demand content will be available on select cable & satellite operators. Viewers must check with local providers for availability.
NBC OLYMPICS INTERACTIVE TV APPLICATIONS: Olympic fans can access exclusive NBCOlympics.com content through their television with NBC Olympics Interactive TV applications. Viewers can get all the best NBC Olympics coverage during the Games: top news stories, updated medal counts, detailed NBC Olympics TV listings, profiles of Team USA, and more. NBC Olympics Interactive TV applications will be available on select cable and satellite operators. Viewers must check with local providers for availability.
American Gladiators has been a big hit for NBC this season. When the show kicked off earlier this year, the episodes were 90 minutes to two hours in length and each event in the competition was shown in full. As the season moved on, the show moved into a one-hour slot and with the change, came a change in the way the show is broadcast.
With the new episodes (including last night’s), some of the events are not shown in full. For those events that are shown only in a short clip, the announcers point American Gladiator viewers to the Web to watch the full event. I am trying to get some numbers from NBC on how well this strategy is working and will report back once I get the detailed stats. While I assume some viewers are sitting at their computers while watching and will load the Web site immediately, I can’t picture many people getting off the couch or recliner to watch Python beat someone in the Terminator. By the time the show is over, the draw to online dips even further.
The more important question is, where are the videos? I loaded americangladiators.com and found what appears to be about 20% new version and 80% old version. There are some promo videos including a promo for an episode that aired weeks ago. The other content, from cast bios to images and games, is all from the old series 10+ years ago.
The new content is all housed on NBC’s Web site including full episodes. What I don’t see anywhere is the specific events that were cutoff on the live TV version. Do I really need to sit through the full hour if I only want to see what happened in the Joust?
I think NBC is making a big mistake by not updating the American Gladiators main .com site. While it’s important to display content from the old version, the new version is where it’s at now. In fact, on the americangladiators.com site, there’s one tiny link over to NBC. At least redirect the domain. How much traffic, ad impressions and even more importantly, high paying video ad impressions is NBC losing because of this poor online strategy?
(in case you are interested, my favorites are Jet, Justice and Crush, do you have a favorite?)
NBC has released the results of a research study it completed with users of its NBC Direct service and the NBC Rewind player. NBC Direct is an online and downloadable client which allows a user to view full episodes of current on-air NBC shows at no charge. Video streams from NBC Direct are up 25% in 2008 vs. 2007 and uniques are up 7%. Interesting note, American Gladiators and Deal or No Deal are the two most popular shows on the online video service.
Here are some of the highlights of the study:
- Dramatically higher brand recall for ad content created specifically for the internet vs. previous quarters (86% vs. 70%-75%)
- High agreement that Rewind ads are less disruptive than ads on television, and a strong desire to interact with advertising. In fact, ads with interactive elements were more likely to elicit higher brand recall as well as higher agreement that ads were entertaining and relevant.
- 77 percent of users streaming video as a complement to TV viewing (the majority report catching a missed episode online).
- Over a quarter of respondents also reported sampling a new show while viewing online, with the majority continuing to watch the show after trial, both on air and online.
The real question is when will NBC integrate Hulu into the NBC properties and drop NBC Direct/Rewind? I understand that Hulu is in beta but the expenses of maintaining two video systems that have, at least, some overlap seems redundant. Also check out my rant about what I’d like in a video service.
NBC has announced today their new lineup of WAP and mobile sites for 2008. NBC claims to have the highest total of mobility of any broadcast network with 40 WAP sites and 3 mobile video channels.
"Mobile is the new frontier of the new frontier of digital entertainment," said Zigler. "We are experimenting and learning as much as we can in this space given the proliferation of cell phones in the market and it is our desire to provide the same high quality entertainment experience our users have come to expect of us."
NBC will also be integrating a mobile widget on all show sites to allow content to be sent to a mobile device. In fourth quarter of 2007, NBC.com saw over 1.6 million page views on its WAP sites.
Will people want to watch American Gladiators on their phone? NBC is betting yes. I would suggest that mobile growth will come from time-savers, not time-wasters.