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Cable Technology Feature Article

March 15, 2010

New Audience, New Software: PBS to Release Documentary on Facebook

By Kelly McGuire, TMCnet Editor

As a pretty environmentally friendly person myself, I frequently tune in and watch various shows on National Geographic and other like channels, to see what else is going on with the world and those who live in it.
So, when PBS’s American Experience has released its “Earth Days” documentary to a film festival last year for review, I was dying to see it when it hits the mainstream this April.
But, according to an article in The New York Times, I may not have to wait until next month to get a glimpse of the Robert Stone-directed American environmental movement film.
With the rise of social media comes the news that – surprise! – Earth Days will appear on Facebook (News - Alert) on April 11. Users will be able to watch communally and interact with the filmmaker and the “American Experience” executive producer Mark Samels in real time.
The best part? Users can watch the film on Facebook one week before its television debut on April 19, marking the first time a major broadcaster has introduced a full-length documentary on the social media site.
Using a new social screening application from Brand Networks, the Facebook debut is an opportunity to engage a younger audience that may otherwise not watch the PBS Monday night showing.
Despite drawing an average four million viewers per episode on Monday night’s at 9 o’clock, this movement to push the film on Facebook offers a unique ability to cater and gauge a diverse audience that have left modern television behind and migrated to the Internet as their source of entertainment.

Kelly McGuire is a TMCnet Web editor, covering CRM and workforce technologies, and anchor of its daily TMC Newsroom video broadcast. Kelly also writes about eco-friendly "green" technologies and smart grids, compiling TMCnet's weekly e-Newsletters on those topics, as well as the cable industry. To read more of Kelly's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire