Dish Opens Second Screen API to Partners

Amy Castor
Jul. 05 2013, 11:00AM EDT

Today’s TV watchers are no longer watching TV all by itself. They are multi-screening, engaging with their tablets and smart phones at the same time, often using social media to update friends on the latest game score or plot twist. In an effort to tap into this emerging second screen market, Dish Network is planning to open its APIs to select developers, starting with its Dish Explorer API later this month.

Vivek Khemka, senior vice president of product management at Dish, made the announcement at the 2nd Screen Summit, as reported in Twice. Launched in January, Dish Explorer is a companion app for Dish’s Hopper HD-DVR lineup. The app functions as a DVR, letting users control their Hopper from their iPad. It also delivers content relevant to whatever show or channel a viewer is watching and includes full Facebook and Twitter integration.

The satellite TV giant is counting on third-party developers to use its APIs to build a variety of second screen apps that will enhance subscriber experience across all of the content options on the pay-TV platform.

“We want to take the Hopper experience and foster innovation among the developer community. When you start looking at applications that developers can build and are building today, we want them to work seamlessly with the Hopper to provide the best consumer experience,” Khemka said.

According to Twice, Khemka indicated it was too early to determine what type of applications Dish’s partners might develop, but said he envision something like a second-screen app that automatically sets the Dish DVR to record shows related to a viewer’s topic of interest.

The Dish Explorer for iPad is available in the Apple app store, and the API will be available to developers July 15.

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