Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) is still fighting away at the connected TV market. The company says its TV Widgets — which let people interact with internet content, like photos from Flickr or news from the NYT, while watching TV — are now available in 100 countries, up from 16, because of an expanded partnership with Sony (NYSE: SNE), which is distributing TV Widgets on 25 percent of the TVs it ships globally; Yahoo already had a more limited distribution partnership with Sony, as well as with Samsung, LG (SEO: 066570) and Vizio. The company still isn’t saying how many people are actually using them, however.
The announcement comes as Yahoo’s position in the market has been overshadowed by newer entrants like Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and Google (NSDQ: GOOG). Google recently announced Google TV, which will let people quickly look up and access TV broadcasts and web content, and Apple is rumored to be working on overhauling its own Apple TV platform.
Yahoo’s Connected TV initiatives, meanwhile, haven’t been talked about that much lately. In a video, Yahoo TV product lead Roger Urrabazo tries to change that, by differentiating TV Widgets from the competition. A sample from the clip, which is embedded below: “We really took TV and made it the central part of the experience. We didn’t try to take over the experience with a bunch of full-screen, good looking UIs because we know people come to watch TV for a reason.” That seems to be a jab at Google TV, which puts as much emphasis on watching web content as TV content from the TV.