Profile: Interactive maven gets victory with Bowl games

Mar 10, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Title: VP & general manager, Walt Disney Internet Group & ABC’s Enhanced TV
Background: Mr. Mandler joined ABC 11 years ago as an attorney for ABC News. He then linked up with ABC radio to develop the radio business for the Internet. Mr. Mandler became VP and general managerof the Walt Disney Internet Group in 2001.
Building a Business: Mr. Mandler’s mission in the ITV space is to create “program synchronous applications,” interactive things that viewers can do while watching a TV show live. “We can create fun and compelling content that can attract younger viewers who are used to interacting and encourage them to watch it live,” he said. “The other side of the coin is if we can make our advertising interactive we can offer new value to marketers and advertisers and maybe reach into budgets that TV typically hasn’t been able to attract.”
The Big Push: In January, ABC programmed a series of interactive events, including all four Bowl Championship Series games, two NFL wild card games, the American Music Awards and the Super Bowl. The BCS games marked the first time the network had moved beyond two-screen interactivity-syncing the computer with the TV-to also offer one-screen interactivity, which included live game statistics accessible with a remote control through a Wink application. For the four games combined, ABC counted 240,000 unique users. Of those, 167,000 were two-screen users and 73,000 were one-screen users. For the American Music Awards, Coke sponsored the Wink icon during the show. Users could click on it to retrieve factoids on the artists. For that event, ABC generated 105,000 two-screen users and 40,000 Wink users.
The Next Step: ABC will likely develop ITV applications including voting and polling for its reality shows. “Everyone has an opinion about who should and who shouldn’t be picked. We want to give them a means to scratch that itch,” he said.