VH1 tests live stream to gear up fans for 'Basketball Wives'

By Natan Edelsburg 

We wrote about the popularity of Vh1’s Basketball Wives and as season four gears up, the network is trying to innovate by leveraging the social web with a behind-the-scenes live stream to get fans ready for the new season. While live streaming content and exclusive chats is a common practice for the networks now, VH1 is live-streaming a promo shoot with the goal to create a “tweet-to-live video loop.” And if all goes well, VH1 may offer more live glimpses into the production of the show.

The live stream will feature the first glimpse of new cast members during an “unedited and unfiltered” live stream from a Miami promo shoot. Host Liz Black will chat with the ladies during the shoot about the upcoming season. It will stream Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET on VH1.com and VH1 Mobile.

We spoke to Dan Sacher, VP of VH1 Digital to discuss the campaign.

Lost Remote: How is this innovative social TV?

Dan Sacher: We’re now creating content for all of our screens that breaks down the walls between digital and linear to strategically create a multiplatform narrative line that amplifies the main TV viewing. In this case, months before the premiere of the new season, we can cost effectively “eventize” a promo shoot as a live stream in which fans can get an unedited look at the cast and even interact with the stars of the show, allowing them to tweet live and have the wives respond in real time. That tweet-to-live video loop is something is most fans haven’t experienced. We think this is potentially an exciting new model to continually generate buzz and stoke the conversation between seasons.

LR: How will success be determined?

DS: We’re looking at this as an experiment in transmedia storytelling and will use the feedback from fans to fine-tune the creative moving forward. In terms of metrics, while we’ll be looking at audience numbers, we’ll also be paying equal attention to the fan engagement during the livestream and on social networks. In addition, this livestream will serve as the audience’s first introduction to two new cast members. We’re going to be closely monitoring how the fans respond to these new ladies and crafting our social strategy around them accordingly.