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Emmys Team with Texter

LOS ANGELES: The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is pushing the primetime Emmy ceremony to new digital frontiers. “Digital” as in phalanges. The Academy has enlisted a vendor this year to support exclusive text messaging during the ceremony, scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 29, live on NBC.

By texting the word “Emmys” to 888777, fans can get “up-to-the-minute news and announcements directly to their mobile phones from Emmy insiders at the Nokia Theatre,” according to Nixle, the anointed text vendor. The application also provides simultaneous updating to Facebook and Twitter.

“Never before have our viewers been able to be in such direct contact with all things Emmy. The Emmy fan community is highly interactive, following us on Facebook and Twitter,” said Television Academy Chairman John Shaffner. “Nixle’s technology allows us to take the next step and directly message our audience.”

The Academy is a few years behind when it comes to TV program text tie-ins. “American Idol” launched the phenomenon seven years ago when it made voting available via text messaging. The April 8, 2003 episode generated 2.5 million text messages. Texting is now a typical tie-in for TV shows.