New Social Media Impact Interview With DWTS Rob Wade And Telescope CEO Jason George

Lost Remote talked with Dancing With The Stars Executive Producer Rob Wade and Telescope CEO Jason George about the show and why it’s become the most “social” show on TV. They also talk about the Paddle Vote for what’s taking place tonight. A good read before taking in the show.

LR: Why is live fan participation via social such a crucial part of competition shows in general, and ‘Dancing With the Stars’ in particular?

Jason George: Fan participation in competition shows has always been an inherent part of those formats with voting, but social media has super-charged that by turning a powerful but limited one-time fan engagement into an ongoing dialog and one that happens in real-time. Why is this so important? Because every producer is looking for ways to connect with their fan base and, ideally, drive them to tune in live to the scheduled broadcast. By connecting with the audience and fans via social media, we’re driving reach and sharing, which helps to bring in new viewers.

On “Dancing With The Stars,” there’s a particularly powerful mix of all those elements of fan engagement with a base of celebrity contestants who generally have large social media followings along with an active fan base of their own. Harnessing those together and weaving real-time interactivity into the fabric of the show as we’re doing creates the potential for significant impact via social and digital media channels.

Rob Wade : because it allows the audience to make the most out of the live event and increases the enjoyment value of the telecast. Put simply we all like to watch television with friends so we can laugh, cry and express our emotions as a community – live fan participation via social media is simply this on a grand scale. For dancing with the stars it’s so important because we have celebrities with such big followings that engaging them in a real time, interactive way is a no brainer.

LR: ‘You Raise the Paddle’ will let fans vote in real-time alongside the judges. What is the process like from tallying the vote to seeing it integrated into the telecast in such a short period of time?

George: Firstly, it’s vital that the secure technical infrastructure is in place. As the TV world moves ever-closer to real-time interactivity, high-volume, “bursty” traffic can be a beast to handle! When validated results are added – as with Raise The Paddle on DWTS – the platform has to be able to tally and deliver consistent, reliable results in a very short amount of time that satisfy Standards and Practice. These are the principles underpinning our platform, Connect Live. Other than the technology, it really requires close co-ordination and a team that is experienced with live television – we have personnel both at our HQ and in-studio working with production to make sure all systems operate smoothly and that the on air experience is optimal.

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