Liberty Global Ties in Twitter

Extending a bridge to the world of social media, Liberty Global has struck a partnership that will enable it to integrate elements from Twitter with the MSO's next-gen Horizon TV service.

That integration, the MSO said, aims to improve content discovery and “deliver customers a deeper, richer and more immersive viewing experience.” The partnership includes the launch of a new TV app for Horizon customers, Watch with Twitter, and a new feature for the Horizon Go mobile app that lets customers tweet TV recommendations.

Liberty Global said Horizon TV customers in some markets can now choose to follow live Tweets relevant to the programs they are watching overlaid onto the TV screen. The new Watch with Twitter app is launching this week on Horizon boxes in Germany for Unitymedia customers, and will become available in Ireland for Virgin Media subs (Virgin’s U.K. systems currently use a TiVo-powred platform, not Horizon TV), and in the Netherlands for Ziggo customers during the next two months.

Liberty Global added a record 1.5 milion Horizon TV subs in 2015, and has that platform deployed to about 40% of its digital TV base.

The Liberty Global integration is not the first time Twitter has connected with a major MVPD. Comcast, for example, uses Twitter data for a “Trending” guide that’s available on its X1 platform.

“Through this partnership, Horizon customers can not only find out which shows are trending on Twitter but also follow on-screen live Tweets as they watch their favourite TV programs, delivering an even better viewing experience,” said Liberty Global chief product officer Doron Hacmon, in a statement. “We’re constantly looking at new ways of making Horizon even better and more relevant for customers and look forward to further developing our partnership with Twitter to deliver new cutting-edge social TV features on the platform.”

“TV fans, influencers and the stars themselves are on Twitter talking about live TV shows as they unfold,” added Jana Messerschmidt, VP, global business development and platform, at Twitter. “Through our partnership with Liberty Global we are bringing the most relevant conversations into their TV service and surfacing what programs are trending, helping guide viewers to the shows that are most discussed at that moment.”