NBCU Launching Platform for Casual and Social Games

NBCUniversal is building a new platform for casual and
social games that can integrate the offerings and audiences of its TV networks
and online properties.

Set to be introduced at NBCU's NewFront presentation
Tuesday, The Universal Games Networks' products can be customized by each of
NBCU's brands, which means similar games can be linked to shows on USA, Syfy,
Bravo and other networks.

"Social gaming is a fast-growing category that attracts
a highly engaged and targeted audience," Linda Yaccarino, president, Cable
Entertainment and Digital Sales, for NBCUniversal, said in a statement.
"UGN provides NBCUniversal with a unique platform to connect with these
consumers and offer our clients a distinct ad solution that taps into the 300
million social gamers active on Facebook and beyond."

Using the UGN, fans of shows can play games, view content and
score points. Those points can be redeemed for real prizes-such as show swag
and autographed pictures-or virtual goods useful while playing the games.
Facebook Connect enables fans to challenge friends and create tournaments.

The UGN is scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter. NBCU
says the unified platform provides advertisers with one-stop shopping to reach
game players across the entire NBCU digital footprint, now representing 115
million fans.

The UGN platform also enables NBCU to track fan engagement,
target content to specific audiences and create future experiences based on
popularity and demand. Targeted audiences can be aggregated by program type or
by game type.

Long term, advertisers will be able to take advantage of the
integrated big data analytical capabilities of the system to maximize the reach
and efficiencies of their buys. 

The platform was initially designed and built by the USA
Network digital team and marketed as the Character Arcade.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.