Thanks to social media, digital content and the second screen, networks are able to engage television viewers on a new level.  At the Beet.TV executive retreat earlier this month, we heard from Lisa Hsia, EVP, Digital Media at Bravo, who told us about how the NBCUniversal-owned cable channel is tapping into these channels to provide interactive experiences around shows that engage viewers seven days a week.

Hsia says, “At Bravo we try to engage the user before, during and after the show,” as well as between seasons.  To do so, she explains, “We’ve increasingly built interactive experiences around the whole week.”  One example of this is Last Chance Kitchen, a digital series paired with the popular Bravo show Top Chef, in which eliminated chefs compete to get back on the show.

Hsia also talks about Play Live—an online “Participation TV” experience that enables viewers to interact with content as it airs live on television.  Unlike many other second screen experiences, Play Live doesn’t require viewers to download a dedicated app.  Everything happens online.  “It’s really about ease of use,” says Hsia.  “You don’t have to download an app, you don’t have to remember a text message code.”  You just head to the Play Live url on any device and you’re ready to participate and, thanks to this ease of use, Bravo has seen huge participation results.

In the interview, Hsia also touches on the importance of considering that audience of a specific show when creating interactive experiences.

Megan O’Neill

Beet Retreat 2013