BEDMINSTER, NJ — Verizon Wireless today announced it will be first among U.S. wireless service providers to broadly assign common text messaging service short-codes so television programmers can use the capabilities of wireless to interact directly with their audience. Using messaging services, TV viewers could participate in live voting on game shows, reality TV shows, sporting events, contests and other programs as entertainment companies begin to use text messaging as a main form of audience communication.
Verizon Wireless has assigned five-digit codes to nine national and cable networks that will allow the television industry to prompt viewers to vote, participate in contests, help determine a show's outcome and more just by sending a text message from their phone to the network using its assigned five-digit code.
The specific, allocated five-digit codes are:
*62288 (NBCTV) to NBC/GE *36988 (FOXTV) to Fox Network, Fox News, Fox Sports *22788 (CBSTV) to CBS *22288 (ABCTV) to ABC Television Network *89288 (TWBTV) to the WB Network *87688 (UPNTV) to UPN Network *26688 (CNNTV) to CNN *37761 (ESPN1) to ESPN/ABC Sports *68811 (MTV11) to Music Television
Known for their fierce loyalty, reality-program fans may be able to have a voice that counts. Viewers may be asked to help determine the outcome of contestant-based shows; cast a vote for the game MVP; be asked for their opinion during news coverage of political debates-the potential for interactive participation is endless.
"There is a major opportunity for media companies to use text messaging to promote active viewership within their television programming," said Jim Straight, vice president of wireless data and Internet services for Verizon Wireless. "We're confident that the other U.S. carriers will join us and commit to providing the major television networks with these specific codes, which will allow wireless data to be used as a powerful audience delivery and retention tool for television programming."
The combination of text messaging and reality TV is a natural fit. Verizon Wireless has grown its TXT Messaging service 700 percent in 2002, demonstrating its customers are showing increased preference for communicating in this way. Verizon Wireless has recently and successfully established a service for its customers to participate in their favorite programs using Verizon Wireless' TXT Messaging service.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 32.5 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com.