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May 11, 2009

Interactive Housewives Finale Nets Social Media Success for Bravo

Last week, Bravo hosted a virtual viewing party for The Real Housewives of New York season finale, and they weredesperate for you to tweet them during this interactive live stream that combined Facebook Connect, Sign In with Twitter, and mobile chat.

Now that the drama has played out on-air and the Web, we know that their efforts prevailed. Overall the campaign more than doubled Bravo’s (@bravotv) Twitter follower count, resulted in a huge spike in Twitter mentions during the virtual viewing party, and attracted record numbers toBravo’s website. Plus, as it turns out, one of the housewives, Bethenny (@Bethenny), was a trending topic on Twitter during the season finale.

Peaking at 2,089 tweets mentioning “bravotv” on May 5th, Bravo may not have achieved anywhere near the same mindblowing numbers that CNN pulled in during the Inauguration, but it’s certainly nothing to scoff at for a cable program. Here are a few more notable stats:

1. 2,089 total tweets mentioning “bravotv” on May 5th, and 2,906 total tweets from the 4th - 6th

2. BravoTV increased their follower count 121.18% (from 3,111 to 6,641) during the course of the campaign

3. The percentage of news stories mentioning “bravotv” jumped 15% during the period, with coverage now up 55%

4. BravoTV.com page views for the finale exceeded 1 million and were 159% higher than normal, with 47% more video streams than the previous episode

5. The Real Housewives of New York site accounted for 66% of all BravoTV.com traffic on finale day

6. 40% of viewers participated via Sign in with Twitter

With these numbers, Bravo’s foray into interactive live streaming of traditional TV-only content isn’t likely to be their last. We can only hope that more networks will start experimenting with online broadcasts that tie in audience participation using our favorite social sites. Did you watch the online broadcast? Let us know what you think in the comments.

NightTline: Twitter and ABC Launch a Tweetable News Show

NightTline LogoTwitter has rapidly become an invaluable tool for news outlets: news anchors are using Twitter constantly to ask questions and gather feedback from their audience, while CNN’s Breaking News account is the #2 most followed user on Twitter. But what ABC and Twitter are about to do tops our list for the boldest use of Twitter within traditional media.

So what’s ABC conjouring up? Well, its popular Nightline news program and anchors are going to host a weekly online news program that uses Twitter for debate and questions. It’s called NightTline. Yes, that’s Nightline with two Ts. The show airs its first episode this Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. EST.

According to ABC, the show will take on Nightline’s Face-Off model, which pits two opposing sides on an issue that an ABCNEWS anchor provides and moderates. It’s a model that causes a lot of heated debate and verbal exchanges, perfect for an easily-distracted online audience. The first question on NightTline? “Is torture ever acceptable?”

Twitter will be integral to the entire show. There will be a Twitter widget that allows viewers to chime in on the discussion or ask questions during the debate. The Nightline anchors will also use Pixel touchscreen technology to display and interact with the debate occurring on Twitter.

NightTline Tweet Image

The show will air digitally on the Nightline website as well as ABC News Now, ABC’s digital distribution network. We’re very interested to see how much the show will rely on user participation via Twitter for questions or responses to the debaters. This could a be very cool concept or this could fall flat on its face. We’ll just have to watch to find out.

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