The integration of social media and television may be the next frontier in consumer entertainment, and a new patent application from Comcast may go a long way toward fueling its growth.
Several cable networks, including FX and USA, are already incorporating the concept into their plans for the upcoming season, according to Mashable, offering an array of mobile applications to foster connections between sitcoms and their dedicated fans. For example, marketers are developing online games inspired by in-show characters.
Comcast, on the other hand, is approaching the idea of social TV from a different angle.
According to FierceCable, the telecommunications provider has filed a patent application to guard proprietary technology that would enable TV viewers to directly communicate with their social network connections. Comcast customers could build their own video playlists using digital video recorders and share them with friends through a "content recommendation system."
The company is also considering a framework that would reward customers with a small discount on their monthly bills each time one of their recommended programs is viewed by a friend. The timetable for the mainstream deployment of the technology remains unclear, according to the news source, but other big-name brands like Motorola may spur increased competition and foster innovation in the social TV space.