Airtel Digital TV has tied-up with Bangalore-based BrizzTV to bring live tweets on TV.
The feature will work without an Internet connection and to see the tweets customers only need to press a button on their remote. It is not clear if one will be able to post tweets via the set top box yet, but from what we understand the service will be initially tried out on sports channels, followed by news and other shows.
This is an interesting move by Airtel as most TV channels are already finding ways to integrate Twitter hashtags into their coverage. So in some cases this might be a little redundant. Airtel had tied up with Brizz TV in the past to launch their iExam and freemium pay per view service.
While an interesting concept it brings up the issue of moderation. If it ends up being a real-time feed there might be way too many tweets that are definitely not appropriate for a livingroom. Imagine watching India vs Australia with your family and seeing some of those Ishant Sharma tweets that are better left unliked to? Now if tweets are going to be moderated then who will be doing that and to what extent will it be moderated? Airtel has informed us that tweets will be displayed on the basis of hash tags post screening for offensive language.
Brizz TV is backed by Ojas Venture Partners and had also received a debt grant of Rs 25 lakh from NSRCEL earlier. It was founded in May 2010 by Amarendra Sahu (CEO), Jitendra Jagadev and Krishnan Varadarajan (CTO).
Nikhil adds: In the Airtel DTH context, it is important to note that BrizzTV has an exclusive monetization partnership with Platform Play, a company founded by former NetworkPlay CEO Rammohan Sundaram. Back in 2009, with Sundaram still with NetworkPlay, the company had inked a deal with Airtel DTH for monetization of ad inventory then.
Also, if you have your mobile phone next to you, you are more likely to check that for tweets from your circle, rather than, possibly, a hashtag generated twitter stream on TV, unless there is twitter-connect. Also, since the twitter feed on screen would block a part of it, you might prefer to watch the game without the screen. Two screens are better than one.