Showtime, Verizon Bring Interactive Television

As someone once said some time ago when something like this was tried on a small scale in Los Angeles, with another couple of providers – you really must be bored with that which is on if you have to start looking for ways to be interactive with your television. Of course, that was before the days of the internet, but the point stands.

What’s worse here is that it is a sports thing, which only reminds me of the Rock ‘em – Sock ‘em Robots I remember from my childhood. I was not a fan then, and I’m less a fan now. It simply seems silly when there could be so much more. I can imagine a much better experience, such as an RPG played on the Verizon network, sponsored by Showtime. Where are the people developing that kind of idea?

Oh, well. Maximum PC gives the details, and I’m sure that there are people who will like this (there always seem to be a few amateur pugilists in every crowd).

Verizon and Showtime have teamed up to announce the launch of the first nationwide, HD interactive television application using EBIF (Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format). Verizon FiOS TV subscribers will get the first look at the new Showtime Sports Interactive, which will include voting, polling, and fighter profiles, during the live Strikeforce Challengers MMA telecast tonight at 11PM EST.

“Showtime has been leading the industry with digital enhancements and Interactive TV for over a decade. With the launch of Showtime Sports Interactive, we are excited to be joining Verizon at the forefront, bringing this state-of-the-art feature to Showtime HD,” said Robert Hayes, senior VP and GM of digital media at Showtime Networks. “Showtime continues to innovate and provide value-added features to our subscribers and our sports programming provides the perfect setting for the ‘lean forward’ experience that is now possible with Interactive TV.”

SSI subscribers will be able to access fighter stats, records, bios, and quotes, as well as vote in polls, participate in trivia games, and access fight calendars, all while watching Showtime, the companies said.

Oh, joy! Accessing fight calendars!  I’m so excited, I’m wetting myself as I write this….[not]. For those of you that are excited by this, how about a comment as to why you do. (It’s not like I’m incapable of tapping into my caveman tendencies, but I really can’t see the need for the television interaction in this combination).

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