Although it was an honor to be an Emmy finalist, the CNN interactive television project I led for Dish Network called CNN Enhanced lost out to the entry from TiVo. Having never won an Emmy, Tivo was announced as the 2006 Emmy Award for outstanding achievement in enhanced television programming. This year’s Interactive Television Emmy Awards recognize original interactive television programming content, applications and services that have been deployed in the United States between June 1, 2005 and May 31, 2006 and that have demonstrated creative excellence.
Other finalists include AOL Music on Demand and DirecTV Interactive Sports. The awards will be presented at the Creative Arts Awards Ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, August 19.
And while I won’t be getting a statue, I did take home a nice certificate for our project. As a special bonus, I was able to meet both Julie Brown (of Earth Girls are Easy and many other flicks) who was attending the AFI event with Richard Cardran of ZeTools and Sharon Lawrence (of NYPD Blue fame) who was the lead on one of the AFI’s recent Digital Content Lab projects.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the groundbreaking business model shown by ABC was also honored in the new broadband category by the Academy. Their full-length, ad-supported video player (designed by the smart team at Schematic) was simple and elegant. There was also coverage on Engadget and Gizmodo – take a look there for more info.
Wow – I’m thrilled this morning to learn that one of the big projects I directed for roughly 18 months has been announced as a finalist for the 2005-06 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Television (exclusively reported Tuesday morning by [itvt]). CNN Enhanced on Echostar/Dish currently reaches over 11M households; I blogged the launch back in February, and the extensive interview by Interactive TV Today last month. Winners will reportedly be announced at the AFI event on July 26th, followed by the awards ceremony in Los Angeles at the Shrine Auditorium on August 19th. Full list of nominees for the Award for Outstanding Achievement for Enhanced or Interactive Programming – Television:
- AOL Music on Demand (broadband, cable and MCE versions): AOL/Time Warner Cable/Zetools
- CNN Enhanced: CNN
- DirecTV Interactive Sports (NFL Sunday Ticket, SportsMix and NCAA March Madness): DirecTV
- TiVo Service: TiVo
The nominees for the Award for Outstanding Achievement for Enhanced or Interactive Programming – New Delivery Platforms are:
- ABC.com Full Episode Streaming Player: ABC
- Danny Bowles and the Jade Treasure, Stranger Adventures: Riddle Productions/Red Car
- MLB.TV Mosaic: Major League Baseball & Ensequence
- Vongo Video Download Service: Starz
Since the February launch of the CNN Enhanced interactive television product, there has been very little trade coverage of what I think is one of the most interesting and widely distributed domestic ITV projects around – it reaches over 11 million Echostar Dish Network households with constantly updated, 24/7 news content. Interactive TV Today,aka [itvt] has just published a lengthy interview with myself and Kevin Cohen, SVP at Turner Broadcasting who was the main sponsor of the project. I worked on this project for over a year before it launched, and I’m quite proud of what it achieves. Here’s my favorite quote from yours truly:
Trotz: At CNN, we try to make practical and logical reuse of things that we create for one medium in others. There are probably several dozen syndicated products that use the feeds from CNN.com–whether those products are on mobile or on other Web sites or are RSS feeds or what-have-you.
We’ve essentially taken that same approach with this new interactive TV application–this approach of repackaging the content that we produce for CNN.com. The site has nearly 25 million unique users per month, and it’s updated every minute of the day. So we want to make that broad array of constantly updated content available to viewers on EchoStar, and–later, hopefully–on various cable platforms. And we want to do this in such a way that it’s accessible while they’re watching our bread-and-butter core product, the CNN US linear network.
Update: PaidContent.org’s Rafat Ali has also linked to the interview.
TVWeek (free registration required) may have been the first to report this, under the headline ‘Interactive TV Gets a Big Boost’ – CNN has launched their first major one-screen interative TV application. I was the product manager on this effort, and it’s great to see the trades picking up on it. If you have Dish, please check it out and let me know your thoughts. The app combines photos and stories from CNN.com you can read while the CNN linear network continues to play in squeezeback. So for those couch potatoes among us who want a little more control over your news, this one’s for you! The TV Week story goes on with an interesting quote from Ian Olgeirson, an analyst with Kagan Research: “Certainly, being able to deploy the application to more than a small amount of customers is pretty critical to making the model work on any level,” he said. Still, ITV is not likely to lure new customers, he said.”
Update (2/20/06): MediaPost has a story focused on the OpenTV back-end details. A nice quote from Joel Hassell, the SVP/GM at OpenTV who notes the value of the application providing content from CNN.com to a satellite television viewer:
“Television is ubiquitous, but the Internet is not, as yet–so you have a number of households that can get a real benefit in terms of staying connected.”
technorati tags: cnn, echostar, itv, etv, dish network
technorati tags: opentv