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UFC: Second-Screen Apps Help Create Informed and Engaged Fans

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The second screen experience serves multiple purposes for the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), attendees at the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City learned. Not only do apps deliver content to fans, they also create fans.

Speaking on a second-screen panel, Christy King, vice president of digital and technology research and development for Zuffa, the company that owns UFC, explained how apps let the UFC share more than it can with pay-per-view.

"There's a lot of things that we have access to that we would like to share with our fans, but there really isn't a way to do that through pay-per-view. I mean, it's just a screen: you turn it on, you watch it. Our fans tend to range anywhere from pretty young teens all the way up into, on average into 30s and 40s. Those are people, for the most part, that are extremely comfortable with technology, and they all have some kind of little whiz-bang gadget in their pockets," King said. "We see it as a way to put information in front of the super rabid fans."

But second-screen content does more than satisfy an established audience. It can also help build an audience.

"We already know from research that the biggest conversion that happens to people who become more serious fans of mixed martial arts are those who actually experience it for the first few times in bars with their friends. And the reason that is, we think, from what we can tell, is that people are talking about the sport," King explained. When people talk about the sport and explain it, that helps newcomers understand what's going on. "The second-screen experience really becomes our ability to kind of do a better job giving good information to people that don't understand what they're watching, and we can teach them."

For more on driving engagement with second-screen apps, watch the full panel discussion below.


Driving Engagement: Companion vs. Convenience

While second screen companion experiences are a phenomena in the home, they are mostly used as a first screen viewing device outside the home. This session will discuss how do tablet and smartphone manufacturers manage this dual-purpose design in their ecosystem from TVs and tablets to mobile phones and gaming consoles. Learn how the second and first screen experiences will converge as multi-screen and second screen offerings begin to be delivered from the same app as consumers move outside the living room.

Moderator: Guy Finley, Executive Director, 2nd Screen Society
Speaker: Christy King, VP, Digital, Technology R&D, UFC
Speaker: Andy Liu, CEO, BuddyTV
Speaker: Alan Wolk, Global Lead Analyst, Kit Digital


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