Looking to tap into the growing number of people who use TV and the Internet simultaneously, NBA Digital is tipping off a toggling computer companion to the pro basketball league's telecasts.
NBA Digital officials say NBA TV Companion on NBA.com is a first-of-its-kind, live-game complement designed to enhance the TV viewing experience for fans, with both national games and local/regional telecasts. The new full-screen feature aspires to provide an in-arena experience, along with social media integration and video highlight packages that complement every live NBA telecast.
The application is accessible through NBA.com for all nationally televised games on ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV, while team sites will feature club-specific versions of the TV Companion that will automatically become the default homepage when that team is in action.
The gambit plays into the 57% of Americans with Internet access at home who report that they employ the TV and Internet simultaneously, said league officials. Of those Internet users, almost 28% spend their online watching TV. Internet video viewing continues to grow significantly, with a 12.4% increase when compared to last year, according to Nielsen data.
Among the elements that will be available to users: pregame media notes, real-time stats, 3D shot charts and play-by-play analysis. There will also be halftime and postgame reports that include video highlight packages, updated box scores, leader boards, and interactive shot tracker feature.
From a social media perspective, users can interact with other fans, team personnel, and on-air talent in real time. Fans can access their favorite social networking sites directly from the feature, including Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and Yahoo! to participate in live widespread fan forum discussions, or private chats with friends.
"The NBA TV Companion provides fans with a user-friendly experience to lean back and easily access information while enjoying the game on television," said Bryan Perez, senior vice president and general manager, NBA Digital, in announcing the service. "We recognize the growing number of fans who simultaneously consume the NBA via television and the Internet, and this is the perfect broadcast companion for fans to experience all the action on the court, while connecting with friends on their preferred social network."