TiVo — the device the industry loves and fears — has scored one of this year’s Interactive TV Emmy awards.
Also earning an Emmy was ABC.com, for its full-episode streaming player — which allowed viewers to view episodes of hit ABC skeins like “Desperate Housewives” online for free.
Brian Seth Hurst, co-governor of the TV academy’s Interactive Media Peer Group, announced the Emmy recipients Wednesday at the American Film Institute’s Digital Content Festival.
Winners were chosen by a blue-ribbon panel, which met at the TV Acad’s North Hollywood headquarters July 10. They picked TiVo and ABC.com out of a sea of finalists initially chosen by members of the org’s Interactive Media Peer Group (who voted online).
Both winners have been feted for achievement for enhanced or interactive programming Emmy: TiVo for television, and ABC.com for new delivery platforms.
TiVo and ABC.com will receive their Emmys Aug. 19 at the Shrine Auditorium, during the org’s Creative Arts ceremony.
TiVo co-founder Jim Barton will accept the Emmy on behalf of the service, which the TV Academy cited for “seamlessly connecting consumers to the digital entertainment they want, where and when they want it.”
Initially concerned about TiVo’s commercial-zapping capability, TV industry execs have more recently embraced TiVo and other digital video recorders, pointing to studies that suggest the devices actually increase regular series viewing.
Meanwhile, ABC.com won for shattering conventional wisdom that “it was not possible to provide high-bit-rate streaming video, over the Internet, to large numbers of people simultaneously” at a cost-effective level, but still maintaining high quality.
ABC.com’s Albert Cheng, Bruce Gersh and Alexis Rapo will pick up the Emmy for the site.
TiVo beat out nominees including AOL Music on Demand, CNN Enhanced and DirecTV Interactive Sports; ABC.com won over MLB.TV Mosaic and Starz Encore’s Vongo service.
The TV academy founded its Interactive Media Peer Group in 2000.