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August 29, 2015

NBC's Viewing Party: their next big thing?

by Brett Love, posted Apr 20th 2008 1:01PM

NBC Viewing Party
Yesterday we talked about NBC's plans for video-on-demand around the world. Today, we have news of their plans for getting all of their nutty fans together online. Possibly. It should be noted that the information comes from an anonymous source, known only to us as "NBC Insider," but after getting a look at the screenshots, they look highly believable.

What we're talking about is the NBC Viewing Party. In a nutshell, the service will allow fans to open a chat room and watch an episode at the same time, all synced up and everything. It's done with flash, so it should play nicely with Mac OS and Windows, and is reported to work in Firefox, IE, and Safari.

You will need an NBC.com account, but that stands to reason since you'll be logging in to chat. Rooms are currently limited to ten users, but you have to think that will change as the service matures. Our source tells us that there are still some bugs being squashed, but the service is very close to being released with most, if not all, of the programming currently available on NBC.com.

It's a great idea. This is something I've done a number of times with my Firefly pals, although, in a much clunkier style. Opening an IRC channel and telling everyone to hit play....NOW is just so much less elegant. Imagine the prospect of being able to tell Jay Black how wrong he is about The Office in real time.

One detail we don't have is how things shake down geographically. Unfortunately, the best guess would be that if you can't see the episodes on NBC.com in your current locale, you will be left out on this deal too. It is a good first step though, and I wouldn't be surprised to see another site pop up doing the same thing by leveraging the Hulu content. And that brings us to the poll:

Assuming this is real, would you use the NBC Viewing Party?
Yes.85 (54.8%)
No.53 (34.2%)
I would, but it won't be available here.17 (11.0%)

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Kathy O\'Reilly

We at Lycos think the NBC viewing parties are a terrific idea...Lycos has been powering online viewing parties for Disney's ABC Family Television Group for more than a year, with our proprietary, patent-pending Lycos Cinema Watch/Chat/Interact platform, allowing multiple users to watch synchronously and chat with other friends and fans in real-time. ABC Family first teamed with Lycos to power online viewing parties for its hit show "Wildfire" in March 2007, and continued the relationship with Lycos to provide viewing parties for "Kyle XY" into late 2007. Currently, Lycos Cinema is powering online viewing parties for ABC Family's "Greek" (http://greek.lycos.com/). The "Greek" viewing parties have been so successful, that we're currently seeing 25 times more video streams than we saw with "Kyle XY," and growing!

April 23 2008 at 3:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sounds cool! I can just imagine what this will look like when it launches.


Dang it. Prove me wrong, NBC.

April 21 2008 at 12:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In a nutshell, the service will allow fans to open a chat room and watch an episode at the same time, all synced up and everything.

This can be used for podcast commentaries.

April 21 2008 at 6:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Personally, I'd rather sit in front of my TV and vegetate while watching shows, then chat later. For me, the draw of television is being able to somewhat "turn off" the old noggin for a bit and become a drooling idiot!

Besides, it's NBC. They've cancelled almost everything I watch on that network. :o)

April 21 2008 at 12:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joey Geraci

I think there whole strategy with online content is to make it available as widely as possible (except on iTunes, where they are scared of Jobs' tactics).

April 20 2008 at 9:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So where does NBC want us to watch their videos? They have their NBC Direct download service, Hulu, and their own flash player. So what do they want us to do?

April 20 2008 at 9:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I like this websites chat room better. It's good for mindless shows like American Idol or American Gladiators, but I couldn't imagine watching 30 Rock and commenting in real time in a chat room. That's too much multitasking.

April 20 2008 at 3:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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