Cable Technology Feature Article
Comcast, NBCU Boost Digital TV Innovation with Content 'Hackathon'
By Tara Seals, TMCnet Contributor
Looking to boost innovation in digital distribution for video, NBCUniversal and Comcast (News - Alert) are planning to host an inaugural “hackathon” from June 21-22. The event is aimed at getting developers to work on compelling ways of integrating licensed content into their applications.
Participants will gain access to APIs for NBCU’s cross-platform content portfolio, including CNBC, USA NBCNews.com, Universal Pictures, Telemundo, Universal Home Entertainment and NBCU-owned TV stations; and will be able to tap relevant technology from Comcast’s MSO side of the house, including TV Everywhere platforms.
To that end, developers will also be able to use APIs from a range of ancillary apps like the second-screen app company Beamly (formerly Zeebox), Gracenote automatic content recognition, onine video publisher thePlatform (News - Alert) (which is Comcast-owned) and Radius Networks, which offers location-based services.
On the line is $15,000 in cash prizes, including a $5,000 grand prize, but the bigger plum is the ability to pitch ideas to venture capitalists and other attendees, not to mention NBCU and Comcast themselves, for possible backing and implementation.
"Merging the unique and rich assets of film and TV with industry leading distribution platforms and APIs, this joint Comcast NBCUniversal Hackathon is an ideal way for our new Media Labs to engage developers, start-ups, the global venture community, and academic groups to accelerate technology innovations and enable richer experiences for media customers," said Sanjay Macwan (News - Alert), senior vice president and CTO, NBCUniversal Media Labs. “This hackathon is intended to attract the brightest developers – and a few lucky, uber media fans - who are eager to have unprecedented access to share their fresh ideas using the vast and vibrant content and products at NBCUniversal and Comcast.”
The event will happen at NBCU Technology Center’s Media Labs in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and at 30 Rock’s Studio 8H (home to Saturday Night Live) in New York City. AngelHack is organizing it, bringing in talent from its own network of digital media and television developers.
"We are excited to be hosting some of the leading developers, innovators and technologists here at Comcast and NBCUniversal for our inaugural hackathon," added Sam Schwartz, chief business development officer of Comcast Cable. "We look forward to seeing the new ideas these teams will produce that will help deliver more unique video and Internet experiences for media subscribers."
Edited by Maurice Nagle