CBS plans to create interactive components for selected network television shows. The experimentation began with “Survivor: Palau.”
The interactive elements are being custom-designed for each show, David Katz, CBS senior VP of strategic planning and interactive ventures, told Reuters. He declined to say which shows besides “Survivor” would have interactivity
For “Survivor,” this includes facts, information, statistics and knowledge challenges about the island, the players and the strategy, “timed not to distract from the show but to enhance it,” Katz said, adding that the network will also create poll questions and other activities to develop a community aspect to certain programs.
These new interactive features will be available through some late model digital set-top boxes. Some 15 million such boxes are in use today, mostly deployed by cable operators and satellite TV firm EchoStar.
The network has partnered with Los Angeles-based GoldPocket Interactive on the project. The technology behind the interactivity, which the companies said is compatible with all operators’ systems, also is available to advertisers who want that element added to their message.
CBS has previously ventured into interactive programming with such shows as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” March Madness basketball coverage and the Grammys telecast, most of which used Microsoft’s MSN TV platform precursor, WebTV.