New Zealand public broadcater TVNZ has launched U, a ground-breaking new channel which integrates online social networking with broadcast content for the first time on New Zealand screens. U is a commercial free-to-air digital online TV channel which features a mix of real life and factual entertainment programming and is aimed at all Kiwis aged 15-24. U live airs every day between 4pm and 7pm NZ time.
TVNZ has worked closely with Facebook to create a truly interactive show. Fans of the U live Facebook app are able to comment on topics, post pictures, vote in polls and peek behinds the scenes of the show through a live stream “producer cam”. Comments will then be pulled into the broadcast and onto screen, giving viewers a chance to interact with the presenters and each other like never before.
TVNZ’s Head of Digital Media and Channels Eric Kearley says that TVNZ is delighted to bring New Zealand its first true “social television” experience through the Facebook integration. “It’s the first true technology-driven integration of online social media with television in New Zealand.”
According to Mr Kearley, U is an innovative step for broadcasting in New Zealand and fills a gap in the market. “We had identified that there was an opportunity to extend the content available for young New Zealanders with new locally made and overseas programming. U will be the only fully localised youth channel in the market providing bespoke opportunities for New Zealand advertisers to speak to young Kiwis.”
U Online TV will be broadcast on Freeview/TiVo channel 6 and SKY/Telstra channel 016.