Starting with tonight’s episode of Brazzaville’s “Real Housewives in Salt Lake City”, Quickcast is getting Twitch-Y.
Cable operator Watchwith is launching the Xfinity X1 and Flex, an interactive live-streaming application for customers that allows viewers to engage in programming using their remote controls. It’s similar to social live-streaming platforms like Amazon’s Twitch, but the Watchwatch is only available on cast TV set-tops.
The first of a half-hour pre-show watch with the app for “Real Housewives in Salt Lake City.” At 8:30 pm PT / 9:30 pm ET Wednesday, Comcast subscribers can tune in to the exclusive live stream of X1 and Flex to interact with the six cast members of the latest expansion of the reality show franchise, the first since 201 since.
After the pre-show begins, X1 and Flex customers can submit comments and questions via Twitter (using the hashtag #RHSLC) for the “Housewife” cast to respond, and their tweets will be seen scrolling across the screen. In addition, the Sneak Peak Meter, a polling feature that will encourage fans to click – and once hit a certain edge of the click, it will unlock clips never seen before in “Salt Lake City’s Real Housewives.” ”
“We hope and expect some real button-mashing on the Sneak Peak Meter,” said Jane Vela, VP of Products at Comcast Cable’s Technology, Products and Experience Group.
The pre-show event, hosted by Bravo’s Darren Carp, marked the first time a TV live TV had created an interactive live-stream experience around their content, according to Comest. “The really exciting thing about this show is that it provides meaningful interaction with the audience. Technology can really change the results of programming in real time, ”Vela said.
Bravo Watchwith’s pre-show was “our first trip for it,” Vela said. NBC Universal Network is a corporate cousin in the Comcast family, but Vela said she’s keen to work with any programming partner at similar interactive live TV events – the main benefit being that they can drive X1 and Flex viewers to their features Show from set-tops.
For East Coast viewers, the “Salt Lake City Real Housewives” pre-show will instantly take you to the new episode of the series in about 10 minutes on Bravo ET. To tune in, X1 subscribers will be able to say “Bravo” to the Xfinity voice remote. The pre-show will be available for on-demand viewing on the X-1 and Flex (excluding live interactive features) via the Watchwith app.
Maria Leno Deluka, SVP of Bravo Brando and Universal Kids Customer and Social Marketing, said Bravo is thrilled as the first network to combine live interactive live-streaming and a primetime broadcast on TV via Xfinity X1 and Flex. “Watchwith gives us a fancy, new way to connect with our audience and play the tune together.”
In the coming months, Comcast is also planning to use Watchwith for a recurring series highlighting their favorite show, the editors of Xfinity TV, Vella said.
One downside of the Watchwith Interactive Streaming app is that it’s limited to X1 service or Flex Comcast subscribers, with broadband-only over-the-top streaming boxes available in the sub. Leaving the line down, Comcast could potentially open Watchwith on third-party streaming platforms, Vela said. For now, however, “we’re interested in how to dovell the Internet streaming experience and linear TV experience together,” he said.
“We are now in a world where networks are actively moving and gaining their talent for doing live-stream events to create visibility,” Vela said. Comcast’s Watchwith “provides a similar way to connect with exactly the audience on the platform – it’s part of the set-top box.”
Comcast Watchwith was bought by Vella, a San Francisco startup that created a video metadata platform in December 2001.
Cable Company’s first major Watchwith project was voted on by NBC’s “The Voice” on X1 in 2013. Last year, customers used Watchwith for an Exfinity TV polling feature tied to the final season of the cast “Game of Thrones”. Thought they voted to take the throne. The company has also used the technology to integrate relevant tickets with Fandango and Ticketmaster.