Home Twitter and TV: The New Backchannel

Twitter and TV: The New Backchannel

ITV, the oldest commercial television network in the UK, just announced that it will use Twitter as a backchannel for its coverage of the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Everton tomorrow afternoon. The ITV Twitter app was built by thruSITES using Twitterfall, and the ITV team will use Audioboo Pro for moderating the Twitter stream. Given how popular Twitter has become in the U.K., this is definitely a smart move by ITV to use it as a backchannel.

While soccer (or football, for our European readers) might not be your thing, it is interesting to see how many TV networks have now made Twitter a part of their daily routine.

Twitter on Every TV

Some of Twitter’s popularity in the TV world is obviously due to the novelty factor of Twitter, but Twitter does provide TV channels with an easy way to create a backchannel for their programs. CNN and other 24-hour cable news channels also regularly use Twitter (and Facebook). For example as a backchannel during live programming. Reading tweets is also a cheap way to fill airtime.

In addition, there is the now infamous Twitter TV show  that is not made by Twitter or even about Twitter (the company).

As our own Sarah Perez reported earlier this year, Verizon is also looking into incorporating a Twitter widget into its FiOS TV interface. For now, the FiOS interface still looks a bit clunky, and writing tweets doesn’t look like an option given the lack of a keyboard, but it would be cool to see a constant stream of tweets about a specific show stream by on your TV, especially during live events.

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