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ITV Live – the broadcaster’s info-laden, dual-screen viewing beta, which we reported about pre-launch – got an inauspicious debut during the World Cup’s opening week, when many users reported problems connecting to the service.
But ITV (LSE: ITV) is coming out hailing it a success regardless, issuing a press release to say ITV Live clocked more than one million users during that week.
It peaked with 204,000 uniques during the Holland-Denmark match and is averaging 130,000 uniques per game, ITV says.
England’s games against USA and Algeria, which were both at evening-time, attracted 90,000 and 121,000 uniques respectively.
These are impressive numbers, suggesting a clear appetite, at least, for watching live TV from UK offices during daytime. But the appetite is not necessarily for all the extra bells, whistles, social features, voting and stats that ITV Live also presents, and some users have been vocal (see feedback below).
ITV Live is an experimental service devised by outgoing ITV.com MD Dominic Cameron, in response to the growing phenomenon of dual-screen, real-time engagement with live TV. The platform is due to support other ITV programmes during the autumn.
As an integrated concept, it’s ahead of anything the BBC is going, until it enables Windows Live IM chat during iPlayer streams. But we have a hunch the real-time engagement phenomenon won’t apply to World Cup programming as much as some other types, like Eurovision and X Factor, and that some viewers feel overloaded with info. After all, wouldn’t viewers just rather watch the fast-paced action than type and tweet about it… ? And whether it needs to be its own integrated platform remains to be seen – but pat on ITV’s back for innoventing.
ITV’s remaining online and interactive director Ben McOwen Wilson, who is also outgoing, uses the release to acknowledge the problems: “We are refining the user experience daily as we learn more about how fans want to interact with this event … ITV and partners have worked closely with Akamai (NSDQ: AKAM) to optimise content delivery on ITV Live through their High Demand (HD) network.”