Advanced Television

American Idol show on Facebook

August 13, 2012

The producers of American Idol will release their new reality TV series on Facebook; the first television show to air on the social network and a cable channel at the same time. Showing A Chance to Dance to Facebook users and cable subscribers simultaneously signals confidence that the social network can be a distribution channel that will increase viewer numbers overall and even boost cable subscriptions.

“We certainly see no possibility of audience cannibalisation,” said Chad Gut-stein, chief operating officer of Ovation, the cable network behind the new show.

With A Chance to Dance, Facebook viewers will be able to post comments on the site while they watch and chat with friends and answer trivia questions. They will also have access to exclusive footage and interviews with Nigel Lythgoe, who produced the show with his son Simon Lythgoe. The British producers were behind American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. Both shows have several million fans on Facebook, and Ovation plans to target them in a Facebook advertising campaign to draw traffic to the new show.

That will be the only revenue Facebook sees from the endeavour. Ovation has opted not to use Facebook Credits, the social network’s proprietary currency, as a possible payment method, instead allowing viewers to pay the $1.99 per episode using a credit card or PayPal. Viewers can buy the seven-episode bundle for $11.99.

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