TF1 launches second screen TV experience

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly | 18-01-2013

French private broadcaster TF1 will launch a synchronised second screen service called Connect on 2 February while kicking off Shine France's new season of The Voice.

This free service will deliver synchronised content to smartphones, tablets and computers, allowing viewers to get an enriched TV experience during TF1 entertainment shows. As of March 2013, Connect will also extend to sport and news. Trials in sport will be made on 26 March during the French-Spain FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifying football match.

The service is available on the Web, mobile and connected TV via the VOD offer MyTF1 that boasts 1.3 billion videos viewed in 2012 and 15 million hours of videos requested each month.

According to Régis Ravanas, TF1 deputy MD, this project aims "to strengthen the social link" between TF1 and its audience. TF1 programmes attract a community of 15 million fans and have generated 13 million tweets during 2012. "TF1's TV and Twitter audience share reached 37.9% in 2012 ," claimed Ravanas at a TF1 press conference yesterday.

Connect features an innovation called Instant Replay which allows viewers to send a 30-second video of the TV show they're watching to the social networks Facebook and Twitter. Films and US TV series are not part of this new functionality.

Video bonuses and live participation in social network talks during a TV show are also included in the new service.

In relation to the new season of The Voice, TF1 has also created an interactive game which gives viewers the possibility to become a coach themselves.

Connect is also designed to be used by announcers to highlight products and brands during TV commercial breaks, TF1's ambition being to develop new relationships with announcers and increase ad revenues related to digital TV. TF1 is aiming for viewers to be not only more engaged in the TV programming, but also with brands too.

TF1 has confirmed that talks are ongoing with Twitter and Facebook in order to conclude commercial deals, but that nothing has been signed as yet.