(NORWALK, CT--March 23, 2010) Softel today announced that Showtime Networks Inc. is using the industry-leading Softel MediaSphere interactive television (iTV) playout platform to become the first television network in the United States to offer an ETV (EBIF) experience in HD with the integration and commissioning of MediaSphere TX at its network operation center. On Feb. 26, Showtime Networks first delivered an interactive EBIF application to Verizon FiOS subscribers on its flagship SHOWTIME HD channel. The application enhanced its live coverage of the Strikeforce Challengers Mixed Martial Arts fight card with rich, engaging content.
"We're always looking to break new ground while delivering top quality, cutting-edge entertainment and services to our viewers," says Robert Hayes, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital Media, Showtime Networks Inc. "We chose Softel and their MediaSphere iTV platform to roll these services out nationally because of their extensive expertise in interactive television both in the US and Europe. Softel worked closely with us and our other technology partners, Ensequence, VDS and Verizon, to provide a seamlessly integrated solution."
"Showtime Networks has yet again demonstrated the creative and technical leadership that has won them such wide acclaim, and has used EBIF to make interactive television a reality on a national scale," said Ed Humphrey, President, Softel-USA. "This deployment serves as a starting point from which Showtime Networks will easily be able to expand to deliver interactive applications using EBIF or tru2way — 24x7x365 across all of their networks and to all of their viewers, from their single system."
Encompassing the complete interactive application lifecycle, Softel's MediaSphere iTV platform is an integrated suite of complementary solutions that enable the delivery of rich viewer experiences. The system enables parallel playout of multiple middleware applications from a single unit, providing compatibility with all major U.S. and international interactive standards.
Showtime Networks is using MediaSphere TX, on its satellite uplink to deliver EBIF interactive applications nationally for SHOWTIME subscribers in participating systems. Via its comprehensive SDK, MediaSphere is fully integrated with Showtime Networks' scheduling system as well as with Ensequence's iTV Manager.
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