FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES NYC TV ON-DEMAND PLAYER
Next-Generation Internet Video Technology Will Further Connect New Yorkers and People Around the World to the City
With Nearly 500 Clips Showcasing "Everything New York" and Plans to Expand Online Library, NYC TV On-Demand Will Be Single Largest Source of Online Video Content About New York City
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the creation of the NYC TV On-Demand player, a cutting-edge web site offering hundreds of high-quality video clips from NYC TV's Emmy Award-winning shows. With a user-friendly interface, a high-speed search engine across neighborhoods and topics, and the ability to e-mail clips to friends, the On-Demand player is NYC TV's next step in using technology and critically acclaimed content to connect New Yorkers and people around the world to the City. The Mayor was joined at the announcement by Deputy Mayor for Administration Edward Skyler, Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Commissioner Paul Cosgrave and NYC TV General Manager Arick Wierson.
"The innovative new NYC TV On-Demand player shows how NYC TV is at the leading edge of the television industry, and how through increasingly powerful technology, we can make New York City and our hundreds of unique and diverse neighborhoods more accessible to all New Yorkers and potential tourists from around the world," said Mayor Bloomberg. "NYC TV has grown by leaps and bounds over the last four years, and with this new player, that growth has expanded to the worldwide web."
"Over the last four years, Arick and the team at NYC TV have dramatically transformed municipal television with award-winning programming, stunning graphics and up-and-coming talent," said Deputy Mayor Skyler. "The On-Demand player is the next step forward for New York City's innovative television station."
Unlike many other web sites with television content, NYC TV On-Demand capitalizes on the Internet's opportunity for increased interactivity through several innovative features. In addition to content organized by program name, the player features an intelligent, high-speed search option that allows viewers to sort clips by neighborhood or keyword. Content can also be viewed by clicking on individual programs or pre-sorted categories like music, shopping, food or "green," for parks and environmental programming.
NYC TV On-Demand uses powerful technology that allows for "viral" distribution of content, including the ability to e-mail clips to friends or provide links back to the NYC TV On-Demand player. For instance, a small business or cultural institution featured on a NYC TV show can link from its website to the clip on the On-Demand player. Additionally, automated feeds enable fans of certain shows or content categories to be alerted when similar content is released.
NYC TV has already expanded beyond the New York media market through innovative partnerships with PBS for national distribution, and the player will further market the City to an even broader audience. A potential tourist from anywhere in the world can use NYC TV On-Demand to learn about cultural institutions, nightlife, parks and other attractions in all five boroughs.
"The On-Demand player is New York City's virtual ambassador to the world," said Commissioner Cosgrave. "From Norway to the North Fork, now people far away and close to home have an easy way of accessing New York City."
"The video player harnesses the powerful tools of the Internet and applies them to NYC TV's award-winning local content," said Wierson. "NYC TV On-Demand catapults us to the front of the line in terms of innovation, interactivity and user experience. This is cutting-edge stuff, and it's happening inside of government."
Other features of NYC TV On-Demand include an online host to guide viewers through the interactive process. The host, an innovative feature for Internet video players, educates newcomers to the site about the variety of tools and options at their disposal. In addition, the player contains messages that scroll across the bottom of the screen, delivering information about City services, events or agencies relating to the clip that is playing.
Currently, NYC TV On-Demand has nearly 500 clips culled from NYC TV's library of award-winning original programming. With dozens of clips slated to be added every week after the launch, the player will be the single largest source of online video about New York City lifestyle, culture, neighborhoods and entertainment. NYC TV will continue to enhance the player after today's launch by offering mapping technologies to allow viewers to quickly locate businesses or events in a given clip.
The NYC TV On-Demand player cost roughly $100,000 to create and operate for one year, and was developed with Brightcove, a leading Internet TV service for broadband media distribution. NYC TV On-Demand can be accessed via www.nyc.gov or directly at www.nyc.gov/nyctvod.
NYC TV On-Demand is the latest innovation in NYC TV's highly successful four-year history. NYC TV replaced Crosswalks - which didn't have a programming schedule - as the City's official television station in 2003, and now is one of the region's fastest growing television networks. NYC TV has become a worldwide model for municipal television; cities such as Seoul, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston have looked to NYC TV to improve their own stations.
Over the past four years, NYC TV has won 21 New York Emmy Awards and has been nominated 68 times. NYC TV has also been honored with 42 national Telly Awards and four Promax Awards recognizing its excellence in programming. In September 2006, NYC TV partnered with WNBC to create NYC TV on NBC. NYC TV delivered over 100 episodes of original content that aired on WNBC's broadcast and digital broadcast channels. Also in September 2006, "Secrets of New York" became NYC TV's first nationally syndicated program. More than 100 PBS stations picked up the show, and interest was so great that PBS requested a second season of the program, which launched in June 2007.
With its signature theme "Everything New York," NYC TV's flagship Channel 25 showcases New York culture, from entertainment, fashion and music to food, history and landmarks. NYC TV also operates four other channels. City Drive Live (Channel 72 on Cablevision, 93 on Time Warner, and digital broadcast Channel 25.2) provides local drivers with 24/7 live coverage of the City's main roadways through the Department of Transportation's network of traffic cameras. Mayoral press conferences, City Council hearings, and other municipal services information are broadcast on Channel 74. NYC TV Channel 73 features programming of special interest for the City's diverse immigrant communities. Off Track Betting is broadcast live on NYC TV Channel 71.
Stu Loeser/Matthew Kelly (212) 788-2958
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