Second-Screen App Gets Comcast, NBC Universal Backing27 Sep, 2012 By: Chris Tribbey
London-based Zeebox is bringing its second-screen application across the pond, with backing from Comcast, NBC Universal, HBO and Cinemax. The Zeebox application will work across Apple, Android and PC devices.
“We are proud to launch with this game-changing roster of partners who recognize the importance of fully meeting Web-empowered consumer expectations,” said Ernesto Schmitt, CEO and co-founder of Zeebox. “As consumers continue to flock to social media and the Web to experience a program beyond what is on the screen, Zeebox gives content owners and programmers a direct line of communication, feedback and engagement that has never before been possible.”
Zeebox’s cloud-based app recognizes what users are watching and augments it with relevant content from the Internet, TV programmers, advertisers and social networks. The application automatically displays more information about programs as viewers watch.
Comcast Cable and NBC Universal are backing the launch with investments and promotional support, and will enhance hundreds of their TV shows for Zeebox, including “The Voice” and Notre Dame NCAA football. HBO and sister network Cinemax will enhance shows, including “Boardwalk Empire” and “True Blood,” for the platform.
Zeebox executives say what makes their second-screen application unique is its OpenBox application programming interface, which gives content owners the ability to update their shows for the application in just a couple of hours.
“As the Olympics demonstrated, the second-screen experience has become an increasingly important platform to engage audiences,” said Steve Burke, CEO of NBC Universal. “We think the Zeebox technology presents tremendous opportunities for our viewers and our advertisers.”
Neil Smit, CEO of Comcast Cable, added: “Zeebox is a really compelling second-screen companion viewing platform, and we’re excited to join such a strong group of industry partners in its launch. Zeebox will offer a unique nationwide TV companion experience that will make viewing live TV more engaging, compelling and fun.”
Zeebox will launch with a seven-day programming for all major U.S. channels, integration with Facebook and Twitter, metadata on shows, talent and products, and e-commerce capabilities.