Networking

07:57 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

How WWE Wrestling, USA Networks Characters Go Social

Social TV lets characters shine for WWE, USA Networks.

Hoch said he learned about Echo in a previous role at Discovery Networks, after doing some experiments with audience interaction through chat for TLC's Cake Boss. When viewers asked questions, the producers would pick a few that were pushed to Cake Boss' iPad on the set. WWE is doing some similar things, "but it's even more powerful because this is a live event," Hoch said.

The WWE stars are encouraged to publish their own social posts--and to not be afraid of showing some personality while doing so. Cena's page features a lot about his love of cars, for example, which is something his fans know as part of his persona, Hoch said.

USA Networks has been doing something similar with the fictional characters featured in shows like Burn Notice and Psych. Although USA carries some WWE programming, this was a separate initiative, started in 2010 as part of the launch of Burn Notice. What began as a social app specifically for that show has grown into a platform for multiple shows, called Character Chatter, integrated throughout the website, for example on Ask Kirsten Nelson, which encourages fans of Psych to connect with one of the show's stars.

"When fans come to a landing page, they can see real-time conversation about the shows," said Jess Redness, USA's VP of digital. "We've now layered Character Chatter onto all the pieces of USA Networks."

Although there's no "hard data metric" showing that social activity boosts ratings, "it's inferred because when we see more activity in Character Chatter, we often see larger ratings," Redness said. While much of the social interaction flows through external networks like Facebook and Twitter, viewers get a richer experience when they come to USA's website. Also, because cross-posted comments are attributed as being from the USA site, "now people know where I am," he said.

Echo's Loux said one reason media websites need to invest in this technology is that so much of Web activity is migrating to social media in general and Facebook in particular. "That's all well and good, because these guys have really unlocked social--you have family, friends, and it's social and realtime--but as the traffic flows move to Facebook and Twitter, the revenue flows also more to Facebook and Twitter," he said. In order to prevent losing the revenue associated with their content, media sites need to figure out "how to be as social, as real-time" as the social media sites so they can be "essentially the Facebook of their content."


WWE Superstars

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and facebook.com/thebyard

In the interactive virtual event from Dr. Dobb's, Developing With HTML5, top business technologists, experts, and solution providers will discuss the present and future of HTML5 as a Web- and mobile-development platform. When you register, you will gain access to live webcast presentations and virtual booths packed with free resources. It happens April 12. (Free registration required.)

Previous
2 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Deb Donston-Miller
50%
50%
Deb Donston-Miller,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/20/2012 | 11:02:22 PM
re: How WWE Wrestling, USA Networks Characters Go Social
It's kind of brilliant--leveraging and extending the new "two-screen" experience. (And I'm not just saying that because I don't want any WWE types to do the old spinning headlock elbow drop on me.)

Deb Donston-Miller
Contributing Editor, The BrainYard
Cartoon
Slideshows
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
Jeremy Schulman, founder of Schprockits, a network automation startup operating in stealth mode, joins us to explore whether networking professionals all need to learn programming in order to remain employed.
White Papers
Register for Network Computing Newsletters
Current Issue
2014 Private Cloud Survey
2014 Private Cloud Survey
Respondents are on a roll: 53% brought their private clouds from concept to production in less than one year, and 60% ­extend their clouds across multiple datacenters. But expertise is scarce, with 51% saying acquiring skilled employees is a roadblock.
Video
Twitter Feed