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Showtime's David Preisman and Emmy Governor Geoff Katz

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Tracy Swedlow

Tracy Swedlow

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The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences recently announced that Showtime Networks' high-definition EBIF-based "Showtime Sports Interactive" application will receive an Engineering Plaque--an award that honors "those achievements that exhibit a high level of engineering and are important to the progress of the industry"--at the 62nd Primetime Emmy Engineering Awards (see the article published on itvt.com, August 2nd). The app--which is designed to enhance Showtime's coverage of boxing and mixed martial arts events, and which to date has been offered exclusively on Verizon's FiOS TV platform--allows viewers to use their remote controls to pull up fighter statistics, records, bios and quotes; take part in interactive polls; and test their knowledge in a trivia game. It was built by Ensequence (see the article published on itvt.com, May 5th) and is powered by Softel's MediaSphere ITV playout platform (see the article published on itvt.com, March 24th). In this recorded interview, David Preisman, VP of interactive television at Showtime, and Geoff Katz, co-governor of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Interactive Media Peer Group, discuss how Showtime, Verizon, Ensequence and Softel worked together to realize the app; describe in detail the user experience of the app and the technological ecosystem that makes it possible (including the significant engineering achievements that led to the app being awarded the Engineering Plaque); outline plans for future distribution of the app; share thoughts on the future of EBIF and on the Academy's view of interactive TV; and much more.

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