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For an interesting window into the Spanish Social TV and Second Screen Engagement scene, this academic report by José Alberto García-Avilés from the Universidad Miguel Hernández, Spain is well worth a read.
In the current media ecosystem, television content is distributed through a variety of platforms (TDT, the Web, mobiles …) providing a growing level of interactivity, which increases the connections of networks and programs with their audiences. Both public and commercial broadcasters are developing cross-media processes that enhance audience participation in a variety of ways. The networks provide a wide number of initiatives including crowdsourcing so that the public might engage, by sharing, commenting, promoting or criticizing programs, as well as elaborating their own material or getting involved in the design, production or distribution of content.
This essay explores the dimensions of audience participation in Spanish television channels and their websites. Using a methodology of exploratory analysis, over one hundred activities of audience participation were examined in twenty commercial and public Spanish television channels and their websites, during six weeks across October to December 2011.
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"In game shows, such as "El cubo" (Cuatro), "Pasapalabra" (Telecinco) and "Saber y ganar" (La2), members of the public, television personalities or celebrities, sometimes as part of ateam, play a game which involves answering questions or facing trials usually for money and prizes.
With emerging interactive television technologies, the game experience is not limited to participants inside the studio. Spectators watching the show can also play along and they even play together with other spectators, just as the participants in the studio compete or collaborate with each other.
For example, in Antena 3's "Atrapa un millón", viewers can simultaneously play in the website while the game show is being broadcast.
Presenter-led quiz programmes are hosted by one or more presenters in a studio. Participation in these is generally accomplished by calling a premium-rate telephone number, such as "La ruleta de la suerte" (Antena 3) or "Taxi" (Canal Sur). The presenter's role is two-fold: to encourage participation in the show and to explain the rules of play, to entertain viewers during quieter times, and to speak to participants when they come through to the studio.
TV3's website provides a game area, with quizzes about the channel's in-house dramas, a competition about the results of the Formula 1 World Championship, a cartoon game about the characters of two comedy shows, Polònia and Crackòvia or a trip to the Supecity, based on the children's channel Super3. Online users at TV3 also may engage in quizzes about current affairs, sports and culture.
Voting is a strategy which has been increasingly adopted by some reality shows, to hook in viewers and let them influence the outcome of the programme. Andalusia's Canal Sur invites the public to vote for its favourite participant in each edition of its singing contest "Se llama Copla" . After the first choice by the official jury, the candidate who receives the lowest amount of votes from the audience is expelled from the show. Therefore, the audience is awarded the final casting vote, to assure the continuation or dismissal of any contestant.
Many of the programmes which use voting also at the same time offer options for viewers to participate in a personalized way; they also develop a rhetoric which intends to spark off voting motivation and to influence the show's outcome. Some shows also permit free entry via a website or via a premium rate text service. Voting allows television channels to generate additional income, by appealing to viewers' decisive role in influencing the result of the program."