Zeebox and Channel 4 Team Up on Reality Format

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Channel 4 has partnered with zeebox to give viewers of new E4 series Desperate Scousewives a bespoke social TV experience, via the recently launched zeebox app.

The partnership - which will run for the duration of the series - is the first of its kind between zeebox and any broadcaster, and will be used by both parties to explore how the zeebox app experience can be optimised by the introduction of specifically commissioned content. In addition to standard zeebox features - which include related Twitter feeds and news, instant chat with friends, information on tagged programme content via Wikipedia - Channel 4 are working with zeebox to provide Desperate Scousewives viewers with a raft of tailored interactive content, linked from the zeebox app itself and therefore bringing social engagement live to viewers' iPads, laptops or smartphones as the show is broadcast.

Key content, commissioned with zeebox user behaviour in mind, will include a bespoke Twitter visualisation app, @scousewives and cast Twitter activity, cast videos, music information available via iTunes, a Scouse glossary and a google map introducing key Liverpool locations to the audience. This content, commissioned by Thom Gulseven at Channel 4, will also be made available to fans on the official Desperate Scousewives website on E4.com.

zeetags, one of the key components of the zeebox app, provide viewers with related information and content about key topics, people and places on screen. For Desperate Scousewives, several bespoke zeetags have been identified and will be used to direct viewers to the bespoke content in a targeted and engaging way.

Jodie Morris, Senior Producer for Entertainment, Channel 4 Online, said: "We know that E4's core 16-34 audience are highly engaged with social media, and we have a track record of commissioning innovative online content that complements the on-air offering for our audience. This first partnership with zeebox will be a fantastic way of enhancing the appointment to view experience for our viewers, creating and curating online buzz around the show."

Simon Miller, zeebox Chief of Product & Content Development said:

"We are developing zeebox into the ultimate interactive companion for live TV by listening very carefully to the desires of TV viewers and to the needs of TV broadcasters, and what they have both asked us for is a highly tailored and socially engaging fully internet-connected experiences for each show. ‘Showtime' is the first exciting step we are taking with the always-innovative Channel 4 to open up the zeebox platform to broadcasters and programme-makers."

The first episode of Desperate Scousewives will air on E4 on November 28th, and viewers simply need to head to zeebox.com or download the free zeebox iPad app from iTunes to get the ‘Desperate Scousewives' experience whilst the show is on-air.

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