TVNZ and Tequila\ go grandstanding with RWC-themed social TV innovation

In a world where the internet is rarely more than an arm’s length away, broadcasting is becoming increasingly social. TVNZ’s youth channel U claimed to offer New Zealand’s first technology-based integration of social media into TV with its U Live Facebook application and, as part of its Rugby World Cup ‘One Love’ campaign, TVNZ is tapping into the ‘second screening’ trend once again with Grandstand, “a pioneering web-based chat-room” built by Tequila\. 

Youtube VideoTVNZ research suggests over half of all viewers surf the web while watching TV, and nearly 30 percent of viewers frequently use social networking because of the connected community experience it provides. In the UK, it’s slightly higher, with a study commissioned by Intel that surveyed over 7,000 people in August 2010 finding that 45 percent used sites such as Twitter, Facebook and MSN to discuss a television programme while it was still being aired. The yoof are even more likely to discuss programmes online, with another UK study showing 80 percent of those under 25 communicated with friends when watching television, 72 percent posted comments on the shows currently commanding their attention using Twitter and 56 percent posted on Facebook.

While Grandstand, which aims to “bring fans together during every live match broadcast, no matter where they are or how they watch games”, doesn’t seem particularly pioneering in the sense that Twitter already does a similar job of categorising content with the use of hashtags, Tequila\’s creative director Ross Howard says it is arguably the first web-based application in the country to feature tailored versions for three different device types (computers and notebooks, iPad and mobiles such as iPhone and Android). And, by drawing upon and including conversations from various social networks, any user can join in and post through Grandstand to their own social media accounts.

“It’s been really satisfying for me to work with TVNZ again and continue the relationship we established through our joint development of the TVNZ OnDemand offer for the PS3,” says Howard. “Both Tequila\ and TVNZ agree digital is an increasingly important space for their commercial clients.”

“TVNZ is committed to connecting New Zealanders with compelling content that can be accessed through any screen so it’s been exciting to work with Tequila\ in delivering an entirely new digital platform to make that even more of a reality and supplement our traditional television offering,” says Tom Cotter, TVNZ’s general manager of of digital media.

On the analog side of things, Maori TV is sitting pretty in the RWC broadcasting cluster ruck, with the biggest cumulative audience of the free-to-air broadcasters.



Geoff Deevereux, Managing Director

Ross Howard – Creative Director

Sarah Crosswell – Executive Producer

Henson Tan – Senior Producer

Anil Reddy – Senior Designer

Ee Venn Soh – Designer

Simon Betton – Front-end Developer

Patrick Li – Developer


Tom Cotter – General Manager, Digital Media

Sarah Pritchett, Digital Media Product Manager











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