Last week saw the launch of the BBC Sport connected TV app which has been designed to augment the coverage of Formula 1 via internet connected televisions. It will initially be available via Virgin Media TiVo with plans to roll it out across other platforms. The BBC has also launched a smaller news service that will run alongside the sport app. The broadcaster plans to use the new service during its coverage of events such as Euro 2012, Wimbledon and the London 2012 Olympic Games.
At launch the app will focus on Formula 1, allowing people to watch key moments from recent races, as well as content from the race that hasn’t been transmitted during the main broadcast. It means fans of the sport will be able to watch full coverage of the practice sessions, qualifying heats, and multi-feed coverage of the race itself.
It’s an important development for the BBC and one that we’re likely to see more of in the future. Internet connected TV’s give broadcasters an opportunity to deliver additional content without disrupting the broadcast schedule with very little extra cost. For consumers, F1 enthusiasts in this case, connected TV’s provide the ability to receive in depth on-demand content. As the host broadcaster for this year’s Olympics, the eyes of the world will be trained on the BBC and by embracing connected TV’s the BBC is maintaining its industry leading reputation which has been established by the development of world class services such as the iPlayer.
For the connected TV market, the fact the world’s largest broadcaster is beginning to embrace this technology is a very positive sign. By having the driving force of the BBC championing connected TVs, it can only help manufacturers to convince consumers to upgrade to the new generation of TV devices and even more importantly, to connect them to the internet.