Monday, 13 February 2012

Interactive or distracting? The RBS 6 Nations Live Challenge Social TV App

I'm more than just a fan of rugby. I've played and coached the game for nearly 30 years. I have a folder on my iPhone home screen dedicated to it. So I was particularly pleased when I learned that the RBS 6 Nations app would be accompanied by a Live Challenge app, challenging the viewers' knowledge of the sport and getting their predictions on the outcomes of every conversion and penalty kick.

We're in 'social TV' territory again.

The app seeks the engagement of the viewer with the game and gets him to interact with it on both a general level - facts about rugby - and a specific one - will he make the conversion? Essentially, we are asked multiple choice questions and given a few seconds to give our answers. The app's mechanics include the ability to pit players against their Facebook friends.

We begin with a warm-up in the 40 minutes before the match kicks off. A few questions, quickly answered and away we go. When the match gets under way, the app keeps asking more questions, like this one during Scotland v Wales this weekend:
Which of the following Scottish coaches was born Scottish?
Then another question. And another... and soon, I'm closing down the app because I've come to watch the rugby not participate in a pub quiz. Each time I look down to read the question and select my answer, I'm missing something that's happening on the field.

The app is quite highly rated on the App Store but I wonder for how many rugby fans does the app add to the experience.