This is notable because USA Network just topped all cable channels in ratings for the 28th consecutive quarter — and it is the first NBCUniversal cable property to dive into the space, which requires a subscription to a pay TV service to access content. Today’s announcement says the network’s shows like Royal Pains and Burn Notice can be seen online and via the new USA Now app for tablets and smartphones the day after they air on USA, and that NBCU is planning rollouts of similar apps for its other channels including Syfy and Telemundo. Today’s launch will be for iOS platforms only, with an Android version on its way later this month. Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, DirecTV, Dish Network, and FiOS are among the providers aboard so far — after the Android app is live, that means about half the 99 million U.S. households that get USA will have access to the content, with a ramp-up expected in the next year. In addition to streamed episodes, there will be the usual second screen experiences and social networking tie-ins. A second phase will incorporate more personalization and gamification elements. Viewers will receive show recommendations based on their viewing habits, and have the ability to sign up for alerts for new content.
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