never.no today announced that Al Jazeera English used never.no‘s Interactivity Suite (IS) to enable Social TV by taking viewer questions; displaying Twitter, Facebook, and email comments; and conducting on-air polling during live coverage of the 9/11 memorial broadcast. The real-time flow of social commentary and polling input allowed presenters to adjust their questions accordingly during live interviews. never.no‘s technology allowed viewers to become a social part of the programming, which in turn helped Al Jazeera present content that was most relevant to them.
With IS, the Al Jazeera production crew could take viewer questions or ask questions by publishing them to Facebook and presenting them on air. Viewers could then vote using Facebook or email. From there, the crew was able to publish the results, change the course of on-air interviews, and push questions back to the audience in real time — a powerful Social TV programming feedback loop that built strong viewership and ratings for Al Jazeera.
“IS features, such as real-time social media integration, live editorial control, and instant publishing to on-air graphics systems, gave us new ways of interacting with the audience without any complicated issues of ingesting dynamic data into our live production environment,” said Sarah Worthington, head of output at Al Jazeera English. “Being able to incorporate the social experience into our live 9/11 memorial coverage enriched the broadcast and brought an irreplaceable personal perspective to our coverage.”
Al Jazeera English used never.no‘s cloud-based IS service during 9/11 memorial weekend, and it has now extended the IS installation for an even more thorough integration with its broadcast systems, enabling increased control and seamless live Social TV workflows.
The never.no IS is a tool kit for creating the technical backbone of interactive broadcasts and Social TV experiences. IS supports true Social TV by enabling viewers to influence a broadcast in real time and by allowing them to interact with one another and the rest of the world. With IS, a broadcaster can effortlessly aggregate user-generated content from social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook into programming, and even build synchronized companion apps that enable viewers to interact with their televisions using an iPad® (or tablet), PC, or smartphone.
“Gradually, major broadcasters such as Al Jazeera English, which is increasingly viewed as the global leader in news coverage, are recognizing the importance of engaging their audiences during such important events as the 9/11 anniversary,” said Lars Lauritzsen, never.no CEO. “The Al Jazeera team was very quick to understand the potential of Social TV. We are thrilled to see our Interactivity Suite serving as their tool of choice in this highly dynamic and emerging space.”
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About Al Jazeera English
Al Jazeera English is an international news channel, holding over 70 bureaus around the world, which span six different continents. Since being established in 2006, it has continued to grow in reach and popularity. The channel currently broadcasts to over 250 million households across 130 countries. Al Jazeera English has been recognized for its distinguished reporting and programming including being awarded this year’s Columbia Journalism Award and “Best 24 Hour News Program” at the 48th and 50th Annual Monte-Carlo Television Festival. Al Jazeera English has also won Best News Channel three years running at the UK’s Freesat awards and received awards from the Royal Television Society, Amnesty International, and YouTube. The channel has received nominations for international Emmy awards in both the News and Current Affairs categories, and from the Royal Television Society awards as the 2009 and 2010 “News Channel of the Year” in the U.K.
never.no‘s award-winning interactive “TV. Mobile. Social. 1Framework.” technology connects fragmented media platforms across broadcast TV systems, mobile, and social media platforms — enabling real-time viewer participation, social TV, and synchronized companion apps. In operation since 1999, never.no has a global customer base including top brands such as BBC, CTVglobeMedia, Danmarks Radio, Etisalat, Music Choice, TV Norge, TV 2 Norge, TV 2 Danmark, and Viasat. More information about never.no products is available at www.never.no.
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Email: lars [at] never.no