ABC has pacted with Facebook to live-stream “The Oscars Backstage” on the world’s biggest social-media service in conjunction with the Alphabet net’s telecast Sunday of the 87th Annual Academy Awards.
A “director’s cut” feed from “Oscars Backstage” will begin streaming on ABC’s Facebook page starting at 4 p.m. PT. The program features three channels of live video feeds from more than 20 cameras sprinkled throughout L.A.’s Dolby Theater. The live video stream is part of the Facebook Trending Oscars experience, designed to provide real-time updates during the kudocast.
“We’re excited to bring viewers backstage and provide exclusive access to all those memorable, talked-about Oscar moments – the ones that happen on stage as well as the stories that play out behind-the-scenes,” said Christina Kounelias, chief marketing officer of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
What drove ABC’s tie-up with Facebook: Around 70% of tablet and smartphone owners are using those devices while watching TV, according to Albert Cheng, EVP and chief product officer of digital media for Disney-ABC Television Group. So it behooves the network to have a major presence on social, and Facebook is the biggest game in town with 1.4 billion monthly active users.
Under the Facebook deal, ABC’s red-carpet preshow will incorporate exclusive, real-time Facebook data of the most-discussed nominees. In addition, users will be able to ask celebs questions via ABC’s “Good Morning America” Facebook page, with the potential to see their question answered live.
Video clips of the most memorable moments of the awards show emceed by Neil Patrick Harris — including all musical performances — will be posted to oscar.com/video after they air on ABC. A selection of those also will be shared via Facebook.
Hosts for ABC’s “Oscars Backstage,” sponsored again by Samsung Galaxy, are “GMA” weekend edition co-anchor Paula Faris and Fusion network host Pedro Andrade. The duo will front the “director’s cut” feeds during both the preshow and awards telecast.
In addition, “GMA” and ESPN contributing editor Chris Connelly returns as official greeter on the Oscars red carpet. Actor Matt McGorry (ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder”) will provide dispatches from the fan bleachers on the red carpet. Nick Axelrod, a regular host on Yahoo Style, will serve as fashion correspondent; ABC News and “GMA” correspondent Sara Haines also will contribute to the “Backstage” feed.
Meanwhile, the full Oscars telecast will be available to stream live for Watch ABC users who subscribe to a participating pay-TV provider in one of the eight ABC-owned markets: New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Houston; Philadelphia; San Francisco; Fresno, Calif.; and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. Live streaming on Watch ABC is currently available through Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Midcontinent Communications, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-verse, Google Fiber and others.
After the live telecast, the full Oscars telecast will be available on-demand via Watch ABC for authenticated pay-TV viewers for three days via Oscar.com, ABC.com, or via the Watch ABC apps for Android and Apple’s iOS.