BBC to add online companion experience to 'Antiques Roadshow'

The BBC will make its first public launch of an online companion experience for fans of "Antiques Roadshow" in September, according to a blog posting May 3 by Victoria Jaye, head of IPTV and TV Online Content, BBC Vision.

According to the posting the online, the "companion" experience will give fans the chance to guess at the value of the antiques featured on the show, as well as a way to learn more about them.

"The project combines fun with learning and performs an important media literacy role in showcasing to mainstream TV audiences the potential for companion experiences to increase their enjoyment of a much-loved BBC programme," Jaye said in the blog.

The BCC's rollout of the companion experience with "Antiques Roadshow" follows closed pilot projects centered on a game show and a natural history show. The former provided a way for single or multiple players at home to play along via a mobile device or tablet, while the latter gave viewers a way to access additional information on animals and habitats that synced with the onscreen presentation.

For the "Antiques Roadshow" companion experience, viewers will be able to play alongside the live broadcast or on-demand, Jaye said. They may select skill level and then choose from four value ranges for each antique featured during the show. Those playing along can see what others are estimating for the value of items as well as find out their final score after each episode and see where they ranked among others who enjoyed the companion experience.

According to Jaye, viewers can access the companion experience using their smartphones, PCs or tablet devices. She added that the BBC has learned lessons from years of experimenting with programming and interactivity through its experience with BBC Red Button and BBC Online.