Palm Beach, FL – May 20, 2021 – A new advanced technology in world of interactive audience engagement and entertainment today is termed second screen which involves the use of a computing device (commonly a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet) to provide an enhanced viewing experience for content on another device, such as a television. In particular, the term commonly refers to the use of such devices to provide interactive features during broadcast content, such as a television program, especially social media postings on social networking platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. This type of technology is designed to keep an audience engaged in whatever they are involved in. The use of a second screen supports social television and generates an online conversation around the specific content. Several studies show a clear tendency of the user to use a device while watching television. They also show a greater frequency of use of tablet or smartphone when watching television, and other studies distinguish a higher percentage of comments or posts on social networks, about the content that’s being watched (Nielsen ratings). Other studies show apparently new behaviors on the part of users when consuming content via multiple devices. For instance, Hayat & Samuel-Azran have demonstrated the interplay between using devices while watching television, and online political discourse. Active tech companies in the markets this week include Versus Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: VS), Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: CZR), Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA), Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. (NYSE: MSGS), Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ: PENN).
Beside the benefit of keeping the audience engaged in multiple ways (polling, chatting, background info about the contents being shown and its participants etc.) and generating revenue via advertising, second screen can also be very effective metering solution to get information about the audience. Being much more far reaching and very inexpensive, second screen may replace people meters in the future. Sports broadcasters, to stem the flight of the TV audience away from watching the main screen (new name for the television) to the second screen, are offering alternative content to the main program. The idea is to present content related to the main program, such as unseen moments, alternative information, soundtrack, and characters. Proposed new technologies allow the viewer to see different camera angles while watching the game.
Versus Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: VS) BREAKING NEWS: Versus Systems to Power Fan Engagement in the NHL Playoffs – Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes, Vegas Golden Knights, Tampa Bay Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Nashville Predators all using Versus and Xcite to drive fan engagement on the way to the Stanley Cup – Versus Systems announced that it will be working with Xcite Interactive, a company that Versus recently signed a definitive agreement to acquire, to power the fan experience for a number of the teams playing in the NHL playoffs for the Stanley Cup.
Six of the sixteen NHL playoff teams, including the Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes, Vegas Golden Knights, Tampa Bay Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Nashville Predators are using Versus and Xcite’s predictive platforms, engagement tools, and games throughout the playoffs. Versus and Xcite’s second screen engagement platform will augment fans’ participation during the Stanley Cup showdowns that determine which teams will play for the Cup. The interactive experiences will include a range of games from predictive trivia games, traditional arcade games, social interaction, and games that enable fans to play along while watching the game in-venue or at home.
According to NHL.com, the NHL saw record viewership at its season’s opening this year, when 1.73 million viewers watched the Washington Capitals versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“The Stanley Cup playoffs is a huge global event with millions of fans worldwide, and Versus is thrilled to support multiple world-class teams and their fans as the teams skate for the cup,” says Matthew Pierce, CEO of Versus Systems.
The playoff games start this week and continue through May culminating with the Stanley Cup finals to determine the winner of the Stanley Cup in July 2021. Fans can view the playoff schedule at https://www.nhl.com/schedule and can take part in the gaming action at https://versussystems.com/players/ CONTINUED… Read this and more news for Versus Systems at: https://www.financialnewsmedia.com/news-vs/
In other recent developments and news from around the markets:
Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA), As part of its ongoing commitment to help connect low-income families to the Internet so they can fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy, Comcast recently announced the activation of 10 locations across Colorado Springs and Pueblo as WiFi-connected “Lift Zones.”
Working with its network of nonprofit partners in the Southern Colorado region, Comcast is providing robust WiFi coverage in safe spaces to help low-income students and individuals get online, access critical resources, participate in digital literacy and workforce development trainings, and support their education during the school year and into the summer months for continuous learning.
Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. (NYSE: MSGS) recently reported financial results for the fiscal third quarter ended March 31, 2021. In February, the New York Knicks (“Knicks”) and the New York Rangers (“Rangers”) welcomed fans back to home games at the Madison Square Garden Arena (“The Garden”), marking the first time fans have returned to The Garden since March 2020. While attendance has been restricted to 10% capacity since February, New York State recently announced that arenas, including The Garden, will be permitted to increase capacity up to 30% beginning May 19, 2021.
During the fiscal 2021 third quarter, the Knicks played nine home games with limited attendance and 12 home games without any fans, as compared to 17 home games with no attendance restrictions in the prior year period. The Rangers played seven home games with limited attendance and 10 home games without any fans during the quarter, as compared to 16 home games with no attendance restrictions in the prior year period. As a reminder, the fiscal 2020 third quarter was impacted by the suspensions of the 2019-20 NBA and NHL seasons in mid-March 2020.
Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ: PENN) recently announced today that the Indiana Gaming Commission (“IGC”) has approved the Company’s application to offer online sports wagering in Indiana. Penn National plans to launch its Barstool Sportsbook mobile app on iOS and android, as well as for desktop users, at 10:00 a.m. CST on May 18, 2021, pending any final regulatory approvals. Once live, Indiana will become the Company’s fourth online sports betting market, following previously successful launches in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Illinois.
“We are thrilled to be launching our online Barstool Sportsbook in Indiana at the start of the NBA’s new playoff format,” said Jay Snowden, President and CEO of Penn National. “Our retail Barstool Sportsbooks at Ameristar Casino East Chicago and Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg have been very well received by our customers since opening this past December, and now Hoosiers from across the state will be able to engage with Dave Portnoy, Dan ‘Big Cat’ Katz, and all of the Barstool personalities through the Barstool Sportsbook app.”
Caesars Entertainment, Inc., (NASDAQ: CZR) recently reported operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021. First Quarter 2021 and Recent Highlights were: Net revenues of $1.7 billion, an increase of 259.2% on a GAAP basis and a decrease of 16.0% on a same-store basis versus the comparable prior-year period; Net loss of $423 million compared to a net loss of $176 million for the comparable prior-year period; Same-store Adjusted EBITDA of $548 million versus $410 million for the comparable prior-year period; Closed the William Hill PLC acquisition on April 22, 2021; and Expanded NFL relationship, becoming one of three official sports betting partners while extending Caesars exclusive casino and iGaming rights.
Tom Reeg, Chief Executive Officer of Caesars Entertainment, Inc., commented, “Our first quarter results improved significantly versus the fourth quarter of 2020 as the pace of vaccinations across the country accelerated and consumers started to resume more normal behavior. We are excited to see the dramatic improvement in operating efficiencies throughout our enterprise which we believe are sustainable going forward.”
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