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ICM talent agency partners with maker of second-screen apps

October 03, 2012|By Dawn C. Chmielewski
  • Chef Gordon Ramsay tastes dishes from a group of home cooks on "MasterChef," which second-screen-app maker Screenz worked with.
Chef Gordon Ramsay tastes dishes from a group of home cooks on "MasterChef,"… (Greg Gayne / Fox )

As the television industry seeks to capture viewers on their mobile phones and tablet computers, ICM Partners talent agency has formed a partnership with a maker of applications for these second screens.

ICM said it will work with Screenz to create multiple screen experiences to fuel interest in TV shows, spur conversations online -- and, with luck, drive ratings. 

"We want to be active in helping to shape the industry that we're in," said Keyvan Peymani, ICM's head of digital strategy. 

Screenz has developed games that viewers can play as they watch a show, applications that incorporate conversations taking place on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and augmented reality technology to extend the TV experience. The work it performed for such shows as "Big Brother," "MasterChef" and "The Million Pound Drop" increased visits to the broadcasters' websites and spiked traffic to each show's Facebook pages.

"We're looking at a company ... that's proven itself to be able to meaningfully do something in this space," said Peymani.

Peymani said ICM will have input in helping Screenz develop new technological offerings and "share in the upside" of any business success. Screenz is a joint venture between Keshet Broadcasting, a leading broadcaster in Israel, and the Box, a firm specializing in the merging of content and technology.

Television networks are experimenting with second-screen applications to hold the attention of viewers, who increasingly are using their smartphones or tablet computers while they watch shows.

Last week, NBCUniversal and HBO announced a partnership with London-based Zeebox to offer audiences relevant information about the show they're watching, and loop in conversations from social networks. CBS, meanwhile, rolled out its own second-screen app for one of its top prime-time shows, "NCIS: Los Angeles."


Not enough 'NCIS: Los Angeles?' CBS launches 'second-screen' app

NBCUniversal, Comcast and HBO partner with Zeebox on U.S. launch

British firm Zeebox to introduce its 'augmented TV' app in U.S.

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