Verizon and ESPN have launched a new interactive way for fans to build and follow tournament brackets during the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Through the ESPN "Tournament Challenge" TV app, Verizon FiOS TV customers can access and edit their tournament brackets right from their televisions, tablets, computers and wireless phones -- throughout the tournament.
Building on the successful integration of the ESPN Fantasy Football in the fall, ESPN and Verizon collaborated to bring fans a new experience to follow all the exciting hoops action on a variety of platforms.
"The Borderless Lifestyle is about breaking down old technology boundaries and freeing consumers to enjoy entertainment on their own terms," said Angie Klein, vice president of product management for Verizon. "The 'Tournament Challenge' app is another way to interact with TV, providing a game-changing entertainment experience that only FiOS TV customers can enjoy this tournament season.
Matt Murphy, senior vice president, digital video distribution, Disney and ESPN Media Networks, said, "Verizon's commitment to improving the TV user experience and bringing Internet functionality to all screens served as a catalyst for integrating 'Tournament Challenge' across the many platforms available to Verizon FiOS customers."
Peter Low, chief executive officer of Ensequence, developer of the app, said: "We are thrilled to be working with Verizon and ESPN on developing this innovative branded digital experience. This is another great example of how cross-platform interactivity can drive deeper engagement with television audiences."
The Verizon TV app will provide instant on-screen access to the viewer's personalized ESPN bracket throughout the tournament. Users can create and check their brackets anytime by clicking on the "Widgets" button on the FiOS TV remote control, selecting "FiOS TV Widgets," and selecting the ESPN Tournament Challenge icon under the Featured, Sports and Games categories.
After launching the app, users will be able to navigate between live tournament games and the viewer's personalized, updated bracket on the television screen. Participants can also use a tablet, computer or smart phone to fill out and view their brackets.
Participants must finalize the bracket winner prior to the scheduled tip-off time of the first game in the tournament.
ESPN's "Tournament Challenge" game returns for its 15th season. Last year, it was again the most popular bracket game in the nation, with nearly 6.5 million entries, up 22 percent compared with the previous year and setting a new record.
Verizon provides next-generation interactive services, including Flex View and FiOS TV Online, which extend FiOS TV beyond the single family or apartments and condos to the Internet and a range of mobile devices; an advanced video operating system and viewer guide; and free interactive applications like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with nearly 108 million total connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company with $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 194,000. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.