The premise is simple: Much like ESPN’s BottomLine or the crawling tickers on most major cable news sites, BreakingNews’ alerts ticker will pop up when important news comes across the wires no matter what channel you’re watching. The ticker can be customized to appear sporadically as bigger stories break or, for the serious news junkies, it can be a permanent fixture on every program from SpongeBob to NCIS.
Consider this move by Samsung and BreakingNews as part of a growing trend to enhance the overall television watching experience with Web interfaces. Cory Bergman, gm of BreakingNews, notes the new app is “a bit of an experiment” for the independently run startup based inside msnbc.com, but that the alerts ticker has the potential to aid major cable networks. “It helps cable news. You see an alert, you'll switch to your fave news channel to watch coverage,” Bergman tweeted late Tuesday.
If successful, the BreakingNews app could serve as a blueprint for other news organizations to break into the smart TV market, where media companies are looking for innovative ways to combine the interactive nature of the Web with the more passive TV viewing experience. While it is far too early to gauge the reaction to this potentially invasive app, preliminary sentiment on sites like Twitter appears positive, and the app has the potential to become a must-have for the more relentless news junkies.