CBC partners with Facebook, becomes first international partner to use new tools on-air

By Natan Edelsburg 

battle_of_the_blades1CBC, Canada’s national public broadcaster, is breaking new ground with an ambitious social TV effort for Battle of the Blades, the network’s prime-time figure skating show. On October 7, Dan Rose, Facebook’s vice president of partnerships, announced that CBC was one of a selected number of international broadcasters to gain access to Facebook’s new TV tools, which we wrote about last month.

CBC is the first international partner to integrate data from these new tools on-air, and it goes beyond what anyone else has done with the new Facebook tools so far. As opposed to simply being displayed as an on-screen graphic during the telecast, the data and visuals are being displaying inside the set.

Battle of the Blades_Social Integration 1

The integration involves displaying Facebook data to show audience support for the skaters on a map of Canada. They’ve also incorporated live images from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter into the show.

“Integrations like this allow the audience to see itself, which is very important for engagement,” Paul McGrath, executive producer of the digital effort, said, “but when it’s literally part of the set, and part of the show, so it also becomes a much more powerful storytelling device. And where’s seeing that in this show.”