Airtel Digital TV brings live tweets on TV

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | October 22, 2013
Customers will be able see what the world is tweeting about popular TV programmes, celebrities, sports personalities and others on their TV screens.

Airtel Digital TV, the DTH service arm of Bharti Airtel, has launched an integrated venture with Twitter to display live tweets about a programme on TV. Airtel Digital TV customers will be able see what the world is tweeting about popular TV programmes, celebrities and sports personalities on their TV screen. Initially, the service will be available on select TV channels and will be extended to others in succession.

It is a service that pulls tweets that feature a particular hashtag (related to popular TV programmes, celebrities, sports personalities, among others) and displays them on the user's screen. The service is available on select TV channels.

Customers have to just press the green key on their Airtel Digital TV remote to enable and access the service. Customers can also send their Tweets on any TV show with the specific hashtags prompted on their TV screen and it shall be broadcast live by Airtel Digital TV.

Airtel informs that the service is powered by Brizz TV and will be available to all Airtel Digital TV customers across the country and with all set-top-box models. The service however doesn't allow users to post tweets through their set-top-box; the company will also filter out offensive tweets.

Shashi Arora

Shashi Arora, CEO, Airtel Digital TV, states, "Given the ever increasing popularity of Twitter across the globe with over 500 million tweets generated every day including breaking news and first reactions which trend within minutes of their occurrence, all our customers will now be a part of the convergence phenomenon along with the rest of the world."

Airtel's new service intends to offer an integrated Twitter plus TV experience at a time when broadcasters are increasingly moving to social media to track conversations and engagement around shows. Meanwhile, social media companies are also forging tie-ups with various TV channels to expand their reach in the country.

Jana Messerschmidt, vice-president, business development and platform, Twitter, says, "Twitter is public, real time and conversational, which makes it a perfect companion to television viewing. We are excited to see partners like Airtel innovating with our platform and helping their audience connect with the TV programmes they love."

Recently, in another consumer facing initiative, Twitter had partnered with MSM's Sony TV to promote the launch of the latest season of Kaun Banega Crorepati. Twitter had launched a KBC contest on its platform, where one question was asked on Twitter between 8.30 pm and 10 pm on September 7 and 8. The top five wittiest, smartest answers were chosen as the winners.

Meanwhile, Facebook is sharing data with TV channels on how their viewers react to their shows on the social networking platform. Facebook has recently disclosed plans to provide data about its users' comments about major television programmes to 10 networks in eight countries, including France, UK, Germany, Brazil and India. STAR India is the media network from India that will be given more access to user information on Facebook. Discovery India is also entitled to get the data as a result of its worldwide partnership with Facebook.

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