Split-Screen Media for Teens on the Go

By Shirley Brady

VTV: Varsity Television models itself on its audience: teens. The Austin, Texas-based indie programmer sees itself and its audience as tech-savvy, multitaskers–hardly the couch potatoes of yore.

VTV, which is carried by Insight and smaller operators including Blue Ridge Communications, is creating content for its online fans at MyVTV.com; mobile downloads for cell phone users–dubbed “VTV On the Go”–on MobiTV; and a unique-to-VOD offering featuring teen-created videos and other short-form programming that’s available in Comcast On Demand and Blue Ridge markets.

“A lot of the content that we get is from our audience of teenagers, so essentially they’re programming to themselves,” says VTV’s SVP of programming, Sally Rodgers, who wants to get even more interactive with her audience.

A Digisoft.tv split-screen demonstration at the National Show last year opened her eyes to the future of interactivity. On a single screen, it merged on-air programming, e-mail, instant messaging and a video chat.

“I walked by and said, ‘That’s it, that’s the future! Kids are going to get this, totally,'” Rodgers recalls.

“It’s still very new technology,” she adds, having since had preliminary conversations with the ITV vendor as well as with Comcast, which also is moving in that direction. “But I’m definitely interested in seeing what’s possible for our audience in that space.”

[Copyright 2005 Access Intelligence, LLC. All rights reserved.]

COPYRIGHT 2005 Access Intelligence, LLC.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group

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