USA Network banks on second-screen devices to boost ad revenue

Comcast's (Nasdaq: CMCSA) USA Network unveiled an aggressive multiplatform video strategy Thursday aimed at boosting ratings and ad revenue by delivering content synchronized with programming a viewer is watching on TV to smartphones and tablets.

Source: USA Network

USA said its new multiplatform capabilities, which will give media buyers inventory for TV, Web and mobile devices, will launch June 6, when it debuts new seasons for original series Burn Notice and Graceland.

"We have eliminated the walls between TVs and mobile devices to give brands a unified and fluid fan interaction, organically extending their presence everywhere the consumer is," USA Network's EVP Alexandra Shapiro said in a prepared statement.

In January 2012, NBCUniversal announced a deal with Shazam to use its automatic content recognition technology to allow viewers of USA, SyFy and E! to access exclusive scenes from programs such as SyFy's Being Human series. USA said Thursday that it would expand the amount of content related to series available on Web and mobile devices. The multiplatform strategy will also allow brands to reach viewers through "transmedia storytelling experiences and streamed episodes," USA said in the announcement.

USA rivals TNT and TBS also made multiplatform distribution a key focus in their upfront presentations to advertisers earlier this week, where parent Turner Broadcasting announced that it would begin live-streaming the networks to authenticated subscribers this summer.

USA also announced Thursday that it had acquired cable rights to hit ABC series Modern Family, which will debut in September. The network, which has previously focused on dramas, said it will also begin producing its own sitcoms.

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