Comcast, NBCUniversal hold content hackathon
Michelle Clancy
| 17 November 2014
NBCUniversal and Comcast have held a hackathon in Universal City, California, challenging participants to create cross-platform solutions using content, products, and technology from NBC Entertainment, Telemundo, Fandango, Universal Cable Productions, Syfy and Universal Pictures.

The event offered contestants content from Hollywood blockbusters such as the Fast & Furious franchise, NBC's hit competition show The Voice, Syfy series Battlestar Galactica and Telemundo's super series El Señor de los Cielos – in English and Spanish. Participants vied for up to $25,000 in cash and prizes, the opportunity to pitch their ideas to Comcast and NBCUniversal, and a VIP experience – including an exclusive behind the scenes tour – at a live production of The Voice. NBCUniversal film and TV executives were on hand to advise and guide ideas.

In addition to Application Program Interfaces (API), hardware and software from the NBCUniversal properties, Comcast NBCUniversal Hackathon teams will also have access to APIs from Unity, Apigee, Cinemacraft, Spredfast, Telescope, Microsoft, Beamly, Watchwith, thePlatform, Interlude and Gracenote.

This is the second Comcast NBCUniversal Hackathon, after the company's inaugural competition in June. That event resulted in the hiring of developers and product concept incubation.

"We hope to build on the home-run successes from our inaugural hackathon," said Sanjay Macwan, SVP and CTO of NBCUniversal Media Labs. "Merging the rich assets of the entertainment and media industry with leading distribution platforms and APIs, our hackathon is uniquely positioned to enable creative developers, start-ups, VCs, and academic groups to use technology in transforming how we tell stories.

Macwan added: "Not only are we opening our vault and challenging developers to disrupt traditional storytelling, but we also are giving participants the opportunity to meet with and receive guidance from top industry executives."