Philadelphia Business Journal
Peter Key, June 1, 2012
As if getting viewers for their programs wasn’t hard enough, broadcasters are now faced with a second challenge — attracting the attention of multitaskers who are surfing the Web or tweeting while watching their shows.
OneTwoSee’s platform is being used by four Comcast SportsNet stations, including the one in Philadelphia, and SportsNet New York to provide programming for their websites to complement their baseball telecasts.
The programming, called In-Game Live, serves up four pages with graphics, text, photos and links updated as the game being telecast goes on. Features include the game’s line and box scores; statistics for the current pitcher and batter; how many pitches the pitcher has thrown, by itself and compared to the average number of pitches he throws per game; descriptions of all the plays in the game; a list of tweets and Facebook posts about the game and a place where visitors can sign in on Twitter and/or Facebook to make their own posts; links to articles and videos about the team whose games the station shows; and photos submitted by fans from the park where the game is being played.
It’s “kind of a natural extension of what’s happening on TV,”
said Chris Reynolds, who co-founded OneTwoSee along with Jason Angelides.
Reynolds and Angelides came up with the idea for OneTwoSee while both worked at what was then Navteq Traffic.com, the Malvern-based supplier of traffic information, graphics and programming to radio and TV stations and website operators.
When they first developed their software, they had trouble finding a market for it because two-screen viewers, who watch TV while looking at a computer or smartphone, were relatively few and far between.
That has since changed.
Eighty-eight percent of U.S. tablet owners and 86 percent of smartphone owners said they used their devices while watching TV at least once during a 30-day period, according to a survey conducted by The Nielsen Co. in the last quarter of 2011. Forty-five percent of tablet owners and 41 percent of smartphone owners used their devices while watching TV at least once a day, and 26 percent of the tablet owners said they did it several times a day.
OneTwoSee initially developed versions of its software for live shows, including “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette” and Phillies games, and tested it with small groups. Its tests with Phillies games got it an audience with Comcast SportsNet.
The company got the platform for In-Game Live done just in time for baseball season and has updated it 10 times since. It’s working on additional upgrades, including one that allows users to conduct Web chats with the announcers of the game they’re watching and another that enables them to try to predict future events in the game and compare their predictions to others.
“There will be a leader board and it will be up to our partners on how they potentially want to reward participants throughout the season,” Reynolds said.
OneTwoSee employs seven people full time and five part time, many of whom work in its space in Seed Philly’s Center City incubator, which is less than a block from the Comcast Center, where Comcast SportsNet is based.
Reynolds and Angelides initially funded OneTwoSee themselves, but since have raised almost $1 million from their families and friends and outside investors, including individuals, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, which is a state-funded economic-development agency based at The Navy Yard, and University City-based angel group Robin Hood Ventures. They have been raising another round of funding, which they hoped to have closed by now.
OneTwoSee offers its products to programmers that make them available under their names. Reynolds said they are talking to programmers with the rights to sports besides baseball.
“We believe there’s a huge opportunity to leverage our platform against the college audience, definitely for basketball and potentially for football,” he said.
Another potential market could be sports teams and leagues.
James Frantzreb, the senior market segment manager of media enterprises for Burlington, Mass.-based Avid Technology Inc., said sports teams that buy its video and audio production equipment are always looking for new ways to expand their audiences.
“This could be a great extension for them to build their brand and reach viewers and fans,” Frantzreb said.