A sync-to-broadcast app takes fans from the red carpet to the green room at the Emmys.


When Watchwith was tapped by the Television Academy to create and deliver original content to fans in conjunction with the live broadcast of the Emmy Awards, the company came to Pivotal Labs to build an app that could drive the online fan experience. The firm deadline, tight turnaround and high visibility of the app made Pivotal Labs the logical choice for this project.

We built Backstage LIVE! SYNC using the Watchwith Cloud Services™ and the Watchwith Real-Time API™. Watchwith gives television programmers and app developers a simple and powerful way to create and deliver audience engagement in sync with their live and pre-recorded programming and commercials. The Backstage LIVE! SYNC app allowed fans to get up close and interactive with the awards on Emmys.com through polls, photo galleries, and Emmy presenter, nominee and winner quotes and facts. Fans could also live Tweet while more than 15 video cameras captured the action before, during and after the telecast on the Red Carpet, behind the scenes and outside the Governors Ball.

“Pivotal Labs was our first choice to develop this highly interactive sync-to-broadcast app,” said Zane Vella, Watchwith CEO. “Their agile practices and stellar reputation were ideally suited for this extremely visible project. We had complete confidence they’d deliver an engaging experience and robust application that was ready for primetime’s most enthusiastic fans.”

“Pivotal Labs was our first choice to develop this highly interactive sync-to-broadcast app.”
Zane Vella, Watchwith CEO

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Given the broadcast deadline and short time frame for development, it was critical to prioritize product features with the client. Watchwith had a strong understanding of what was needed and worked closely to focus the list of features and set clear priorities. We revisited the project schedule together daily and made rapid, informed decisions based on customer experience. We kept the development team lean for this project with two programming pairs performing consistent roles throughout the project. The app, built in Javascript and HTML, used the Watchwith API features to serve up content alongside the Emmys backstage broadcast, including trivia about presenters that appears while they’re on screen, live Tweet feeds, and the ability to “step back” and view all live-synced content at once.

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