DirecTV: 66% of Madness customers used iTV

DirecTV says subscribers to its Mega March Madness package, which gave
them access to all NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship
games and related interactive TV services, was an interactive hit with
66% of subscribers using the features.

“These results tell us that viewers value the interactive viewing
experience and a majority clearly depended on the new on-demand
features to keep track of their games, scores and bracket picks,” said
Eric Shanks, executive vice president, DirecTV Entertainment.

DirecTV says
more than 49 percent used the Game Mix channel, more than 30 percent
pulled up on-screen scores, and more than 36 percent used the
tournament bracket feature to make and follow their bracket picks.

Shanks says the success of the basketball package plus earlier success
with NFL-related services has the company looking into additional
interactive services. “We’ll continue to
expand the use of this technology and take fans beyond the traditional
viewing experience as we broadcast other major sporting events,” he

In July DirecTV will begin an interactive service for viewers of the
YES Network that will provide a number of innovations, including stats,
scores, and a PlayerCam that will be focused on one player.

The new enhancements for the Mega March Madness package include: Game
Mix, featuring up to four game broadcasts on one screen, allowing
viewers with a DirecTV interactive receiver to easily view and move
between games; On Demand Scoreboard that is viewable via an on-screen
L-wrap application at the push of a button on all four game channels;
and the On Demand Bracket feature that provides an interactive
on-screen overlay, allowing viewers to view the current state of the
NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship bracket, input their own
bracket predictions and track their progress. A DirecTV interactive
receiver is required to make bracket picks and see scores from other
games in progress while watching another game.

DirecTV’s usage results show that customers frequently returned to the
interactive services. For example, 85 percent of customers with
interactive set-top boxes used Game Mix multiple times, 64 percent
accessed on-screen scores more than once, and 67 percent used the
bracket pick feature multiple times.

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